Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

October 10, 2012

Vote for Question 6 to preserve equal rights

Rev. Derek McCoy says the marriage of a man and a woman offers the best environment for raising children (“Pastor encourages people to vote against Question 6 in marriage rally,” Oct. 7 Times-News).

I’ll put aside the research that has shown that children raised by two loving adults, regardless of gender, is best for children.

Most same-sex marriage supporters want the same legal protections and financial benefits provided to a male-female marriage. As others have noted, same-sex unions will not produce children, so nothing will change as far to who raises children.

Pastor McCoy also states, “ … but they don’t have the right to redefine marriage. Marriage is about more than what two adults want.” He is quite wrong. Marriage has been defined by two, not always separate, entities — church and state.

What is the church? What is the state? Answer: people. That’s right, people. People have defined marriage and can certainly redefine it just as they can and have redefined other concepts. What is marriage other than what two adults want?

It is, from the state’s view, a legal contract, entered into willing by both parties — willing, i.e., what both parties want! It is, from the church’s view, a spiritual commitment to each other, entered into willing by both parties — willing, i.e., what both parties want!

Pastor McCoy noted that marriage has been this way for centuries.

Many aspects of marriage have changed over the years, including the one man, one woman aspect. Other cultures have embraced polygamy. Human beings change things that no longer work or do not work as well as something else.

For centuries, countries were governed by kings, queens and dictators. The English and we Americans (and others) threw out that form of government and established republics where leaders were elected and governed with the consent of those being governed.

The definition of marriage as being solely between a man and a woman is now being thoroughly questioned with many people believing that that definition now needs changed.

Pastor McCoy’s point about the criticism that arose when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy spoke out in favor of “traditional marriage” is also inaccurate.

No one was trying to deny Mr. Cathy’s right of freedom-of-speech.  He is certainly entitled to his beliefs and to express them verbally. Freedom-of-speech however does not include freedom from consequences.

Question 6: “Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.”

A vote against Question 6 is a vote against equal rights before the law of a segment of our society — it is NOT a vote to force religious organizations to do anything against their beliefs.

Rodney Horning

Cumberland

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