Will Maryland have its own Proposition 8-style fallout?
It makes headlines when a private business is the subject of mass support for its position or, conversely, suffers damage for unwittingly taking a stand, but another political weapon with the potential for negative results is a campaign to bring those who signed the petition bringing gay marriage to the November ballot here in Maryland out into the open. To that end, 110,000 of those names were linked by the Washington Blade, a news outlet catering to the capital’s LGBTQ population. (Oddly enough, my name isn’t on the list and I signed it early on. Maybe I’m registered under my initial rather than my full middle name.)
Anyway, writer Ann Miller equates this tactic to “bullying” and she may be right insofar as certain areas are concerned. I don’t think it will be as much of a concern in this region because, as I perused the Wicomico County names I noticed a number who I believe are Democrats as well as the usual cadre of GOP people I know. I have little doubt that Wicomico County will stand for traditional marriage between a man and a woman, perhaps by as much as a 4-1 or even 5-1 margin. But in other portions of the state those who decide to take matters into their own hands may target individuals or businesses which stand for traditional marriage and against demeaning the institution.
Every so often I’m reminded of what happened in California when Proposition 8, the ballot initiative to overturn the state’s legislatively-passed gay marriage law, won at the polls. The Heritage Foundation put together a well-documented list of incidents which occurred when pro-gay marriage supporters took matters too far into their own hands. While the measure was a electoral victory for supporters of traditional marriage, it also may serve as a cautionary tale for Maryland backers who may be reluctant to express their support based on an implicit threat of violence or harm to their business or personal lives. Again, that’s more likely to occur in areas where feelings may be stronger for gay marriage than in more rural areas like this.
I would hope cooler heads will prevail in Maryland and the issue can be decided on its merits. But the PC police will certainly be out in force trying to push the pro-gay agenda – just notice the outsized coverage of the Chick-Fil-A “kiss-in” which equated the event with the pro-traditional marriage gatherings that drew thousands to many locations.
One key difference in Maryland’s election law, though, may head off part of the threat. According to the state Board of Elections, campaign disclosure is not required until the fourth Friday preceding the general election – by my reckoning, that would be October 12. So there’s only a few weeks where the initial donors would be known.
Yet there is another aspect of the law which troubles opponents as well. The companion group trying to preserve traditional marriage in Maine makes this point:
(If the measure promoting gay marriage passes, a) new, redefined version of marriage would be the only legally recognized definition of marriage in Maine. Citizens, small businesses and religious organizations would not be allowed to let their beliefs determine their decisions, and they would find themselves in legal trouble if they do not comply with the new law.
I wrote an item about this scenario in a recent Patriot Post Digest:
The obvious question, then, is what the values of Chicago (and Boston) are. Perhaps they match those in British Columbia, where Lee and Susan Molnar, a couple who formerly operated a bed and breakfast, were fined $4,500 by the province’s Human Rights Tribunal for refusing to rent a room to a same-sex couple in violation of their Christian beliefs. The Molnars have since left the business rather than compromise their values.
It seems to me the only ones who aren’t allowed to follow their conscience are Christians who believe in traditional values.
I look at it this way: with choice comes responsibility.
I’ve been told for a long time that people can’t help who they are attracted to – whether that’s a genetic thing or learned behavior is somewhat of a question, but one we can’t answer yet. I happen to be attracted to women but a small minority of men are attracted to other men – in all other respects we seem to have the presence of both an X and Y chromosome in common. Perhaps it’s part of God’s plan, if you believe in that sort of order in the midst of chaos.
Regardless, there is a choice made by certain men and women who fall in love with those of the same gender. You can be perfectly happy with your choice of a life’s mate and you can set up most of your legal affairs in such a manner that you can live as if you were husband and wife. But in my belief system (and that of thousands of other Marylanders) you can’t be married to someone of the same gender. If the definition of marriage is changed in such a fashion, where does it stop? What if two men want to be married to two women and to each other? It’s not fair that they can’t enjoy wedded bliss like couples do, or so they would say.
I’m not crazy about civil unions, but when that option is offered the radical gay lobby says that’s not good enough. It has to be marriage or nothing. Well, an all-or-nothing approach hasn’t yet convinced a majority of voters and hopefully Maryland will be among those who continue that streak in November.
This fight will probably be as bitter as the Presidential election, but through most of America’s history we have put these things behind us. The question is whether 2012 will be another example of this or an election like 1860, the results of which led to the War Between the States.
A cultural war can have casualties, too.