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.

5 thoughts on “Will Maryland have its own Proposition 8-style fallout?”

  1. The idea that passing gay marriage in Maryland will lead to Christian business owners being prosecuted for not serving same sex couples is a red herring. Anyone who discriminates in this way is already breaking Maryland law. The law banning discrimination against gay couples has nothing to do with the same sex marriage law. If a Christian photographer in Maryland refused to take pictures at a gay commitment ceremony because that photographer thought such a ceremony was sinful, that photographer is in violation of Maryland law. So if you are opposing the gay marriage law because of this, then you’ve already lost that battle.

    Similarly, opposing gay marriage because you fear it will lead to polygamy is also a red herring. Oppose gay marriage because you don’t like gay marriage; the vote isn’t a vote on polygamy. If polygamists want to legalize their relationships in the next generation, then that battle will be fought then.

    There are legitimate reason to oppose gay marriage. I wish opponents of it would focus on the issue at hand instead of raising so many unrelated issues.

  2. But I don’t think they are unrelated. You’re looking at what is now, I’m trying to peer into the future.

    We already have the PC police who have come up with such concepts as “hate crimes” (last time I checked, murder was murder, assault was assault, and so forth) and made the LGBTQ crowd a protected class – aside from religion, that’s the only behaviorally-based protection I’m aware of. Everything else is predicated on skin color or gender.

    Do you honestly believe the radical rainbow brigade will be happy with attaining marriage and say, okay, we’re done? I look at the race hustlers and think that in a decade or less we’ll have the gay hustlers who will make everything about sexual preference.

    I really don’t care who sleeps with who – although I’m obviously concerned about the one I choose to sleep with. But that was the choice they made and as far as I’m concerned I stand by what I said and predicted.

  3. I’m looking at the facts. The anti-gay marriage crowd is making factually incorrect arguments. Allowing gay marriage in Maryland won’t mean that Christian business owners are banned from discriminating against gays. That’s already the law. If that’s your objection to the gay marriage bill, then you have no objection.

    I agree with you on the hate crime issue. That’s irrelevant to this debate. The issue before us in November is changing how the state (not any churches) treats gay couples who wish to obtain a civil marriage. It’s not about hate crimes or discrimination against Christians or polygamy or any other question. It’s about the definition of civil marriage; that’s it.

    If the gay marriage bill is defeated, you’ll still have the hate crime statutes on the books. You’ll still have the anti-discrimination laws on the books. Sodomy will still be legal.

    Each of these issues are separate issues. So is the polygamy argument. If, in 20 years, polygamists want to get married, then we have the debate about that then. There’s nothing inevitable about legalizing polygamy after legalizing gay civil marriage. If you believe that, then I’ll make the argument that if you take away the right of gay couples to marry (as the November referendum would do), then it’s inevitable that we’ll soon outlaw interracial marriage. After all, once you start telling one group of people they can’t get married then you can start telling other groups. This, clearly, is a flawed and incorrect argument, but the reason it makes no sense is the reason your polygamy argument makes no sense.

    Oppose gay marriage if you want, but at least make relevant arguments to do so.

  4. “I really don’t care who sleeps with who – although I’m obviously concerned about the one I choose to sleep with. But that was the choice they made and as far as I’m concerned I stand by what I said and predicted.”

    And herein lies the massive hypocrisy of this: you use religious arguments to prevent two consenting adults from getting married in a church that chooses to marry them, yet you admit to “choosing” to sin yourself. But you want to hold out marriage just for yourself, someone who currently and unashamedly is choosing to sin (not my judgement, by the way, but by your own). Just as it is none of your business or my business about what consenting adults choose to do, it is none of your business whether consenting adults choose to get married. You, though, want the law to prevent it for some, and not for people like yourself. So I guess the plan is to merrily continue to sin until at some point in the future, you get to absolve your sins through marriage? You want to “defend” marriage? Look in the mirror! I really, really did not want to get personal on this and I will get it if you don’t want to publlish this comment, but it is so darn obvious and frustrating that a smart guy like you cannot see what is right in front of him. Let all consenting adults have the same right to choice as you do. Let all churches have the same right to choose who they want to marrry and who they do not want to marry. If you use the Bible to judge one relationship, be sure to use it to judge your own. Or better yet, let consenting adults have the choice get marrried or not get married and let God sort it out in the end.

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