To the Editor:
On Nov. 6, Maryland can make history by becoming the first state in the nation to vote to extend civil rights to all her citizens.
The arguments from the opponents of Question 6 seem to be focused on divisiveness and polarization. It is politically expedient and morally lazy to demonize, disrespect and disenfranchise a nameless, faceless group of people with hollow generalizations and callous disregard.
The bottom line is that the opponents of Question 6 would deny people who believe differently the same rights and privileges of citizenship enjoyed by the majority.
Frankly, I’m getting a little bit tired of hearing the opponents saying, “They want … they claim … they think..“
I think we need to remember who “they” are. “They” are honorable men and women in uniform who have served in harm’s way in Irag, Afghanistan and Vietnam, preserving our rights and liberties.
“They” are men and women in our police and fire departments who risk life and limb to protect our safety and property. “They” are doctors, nurses and health professionals who are committed to ensuring our health and well-being.
“They” are educators who prepare the next generation to meet the challenges of our ever changing world. “They” are civic-minded citizens whose donations of time, labor and money help to make our communities more livable.
“They” are friends, neighbors and family. “They” are colleagues and members of our congregations.
Above all, “they” are ordinary, hardworking, tax paying Americans who contribute to the marvel that is our nation. What distinguishes them is not who they love, but that they love America.
To deny these Americans the full benefits of citizenship is not just petty religious bigotry and small-minded meanness. It is unAmerican.
If you believe that the words of our founding fathers have meaning, that “all men are created equal” and guaranteed the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” then help to make those words ring true. Help to make history. Vote yes on Question 6.