Michael A. Sawyers
CRESAPTOWN — Marylanders can love and accept their gay colleagues, friends and family members without redefining marriage, said the Rev. Derek McCoy, who spoke Saturday afternoon at the Western Maryland Traditional Marriage Rally inside Calvary Baptist Church.
McCoy, the pastor at Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, is traveling the state, encouraging people to vote against Question 6 when they go to the polls on Nov. 6.
That is the question asking the state’s voters whether or not they want legal marriage to apply to unions other than a man and a woman.
“It’s a referendum. It was referred to us, the people, the voters,” McCoy told an audience of 39 including four pastors.
McCoy’s reference to a one-man-one-woman marriage was punctuated in that Saturday was he and his wife’s 20th wedding anniversary. Calvary Baptist Pastor Bruce McBride gave Cathy McCoy a bouquet to recognize the occasion.
McCoy said the effort by those who oppose same-sex marriage blew away Maryland’s petition regulations when a referendum became the only way to challenge the same-sex law passed in the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley.
Thirty percent of the signatures in most petition drives are bad and are thrown out, according to McCoy, who said only 3 or 4 percent of the signatures were bogus in this effort.
McCoy showed those in a attendance a sneak preview of a television ad that will begin airing Monday and that encourages an “against” vote on Question 6.
McCoy said the marriage of a man and a woman offers the best environment for raising children and is the best approach for future generations.
“Marriage has been this way for centuries. Marriage pre-dates government,” he said. “People have the right to live the way they want, but they don’t have the right to redefine marriage. Marriage is about more than what two adults want.”
McCoy said the campaign is at a critical point. The goal, he said, is to get 1.6 million voters to check the “against” box.
Support of traditional marriage has even become a freedom-of-speech issue, McCoy said, citing the criticism that arose when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy spoke out in its favor.
McCoy said he is “throwing Gov. O’Malley under the bus” for personally leading the campaign in favor of same-sex marriage. He said Maryland’s economy and budget were the more important issues that should have been dealt with during the most recent session of the General Assembly.
“Don’t back away from your faith,” McCoy said. “We are doing what’s right for society. When it’s voting time, nobody stay home even if it is snowing or sleeting.”
Contact Michael A. Sawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.