Marriage Wins in Maryland

Posted: Mar 16, 2011 2:44 PM
Marriage Wins in Maryland

In a recent editorial expressing condolences to the losers in Maryland’s hotly-contested same-sex marriage battle, The Washington Post called Maryland legislature’s failure to pass the Civil Marriage Protection Act (HB175) “a bitter defeat for advocates, who had hoped Maryland would become the sixth state, not counting the District, to enact such legislation.”

The editorial also opined that the defeat served as “a useful reminder, if one were needed, that despite the ongoing revolution of attitudes toward gay marriage nationally, broad acceptance remains a work in progress and the unconvinced retain the upper hand.”

Sadly, one is not surprised at the Post’s penchant for positioning itself on the wrong side of such critical social issues. However, the good news is that enough pro-family and pro-traditional-marriage voices were raised to support those legislators standing strong on the issue, as well as pressure the undecided, to re-consider voting such a disastrous bill into law.

As the Post editorial put it: The bill’s passage in the Senate aroused the passions of a formidable coalition of the unwilling—Republicans, churchgoing African Americans and the Catholic Church—for whom any marriage not between a man and a woman remains not marriage. Their ardent stance struck fear into the hearts of fence-sitters in the House, including, incredibly, some lawmakers who had signed on as sponsors of the same-sex marriage bill—perhaps not expecting they’d ever have to cast a vote for it.

In the end, said the Post, “a few votes shy of a majority, advocates of the bill tabled it rather than risk more defections—and a defeat on the House floor that might prove a damaging precedent for the legislation's prospects in Maryland and elsewhere.”

And while the Post notes that the battle will be definitely be joined again next year in hopes of a different outcome, this moment demands that we thank the many individuals, churches, pastors, Christian and civic leaders and grassroots organizations whose tireless efforts paid off in the end. Without everyone’s response and involvement the Post’s fondest wishes would have come true.

Of special note is the fact that WAVA 105.1 FM and my own show focused strongly on the issue as well, talking frequently about the proposed legislation on the show and conducting several informative interviews with such key persons as Derek McCoy, President of the Maryland Family Alliance and the Maryland Family Council, while encouraging WAVA listeners to get informed and get involved—both of which they did with real effect.

As the Post also put it: “They say they’ll try again for legislation in Annapolis next year. Here’s hoping they prevail,” adding, “The direction of the debate seems clear enough; the pace is frustrating.”

In the meantime, proponents of traditional marriage—including WAVA—are committing themselves to doing whatever we can to make sure that that doesn’t happen, and that the pace will become even more frustrating for the Post and those who share its views.