09/11/2012 In Real Life and Whatnot
Sep 11, 2012

Marriage Equality In Maryland – Vote Yes In November to Question 6!

Yesterday I suggested that authors, like businesses, need to take a more measured approach when offering their opinions. A wise person who has been generous with his insight in the past, asked me, what good is the first amendment if we fail to exercise it by self censoring ourselves.  He further said that if something was near and dear to my heart before I began published a book, I ought to continue to speak out for it after the book came out. – Thank you Podga.

That said I don’t know that I totally agree in that my online persona is not me in real life. In real life, using my true name, I can and do voice my opinions on things important to me – like the Gay Marriage fight in Maryland, where my partner and I are raising our 11 month old daughter.  But one thing that I came to realize, while taking a side on the gay marriage debate might not be the best thing to do for Dan Caty and Chik-fil-A, it will have zero effect if I do it.

For those that don’t know, Maryland passed a bill in the spring to allow gay and lesbian couples to legally marry. In an odd quirk, the state recognizes gay marriages from other states, but won’t allow its citizens to marry in their own state. This came about when the Maryland Supreme Court refused to expand the definition of marriage to gay and lesbian couple, stating that ought to be something the legislator should do, but they found that state law required them to give full faith and credit to ALL out of state marriages.  So in effect, every gay couple in Maryland could go to DC, get married and Maryland would recognize it the same as if the ceremony had been done in Maryland. Practically, Maryland already allows gay marriage, you just can’t have the ceremony performed in Maryland. How such tortured logic can come from the ‘highest’ court in the state is baffling.

The law that passed in the spring is, however, up for a referendum in Nov.  The wording is somewhat different than in past referendums in other states on the gay marriage issue.  In other referendums, the vote was to redefine marriage as only a man and a woman. Maryland’s referendum is much simpler. Do you want the gay marriage bill to remain a law – yes or no.  A straight up referendum on the law enacted.

Some say this will help the law remain in effect because past battles a yes vote meant you were in favor of restricting marriage.  I think that’s wishful thinking. If you’re counting on  people not reading the question or being too stupid to understand it to win, that doesn’t say much about the strength of your position.  Rather I think people are able to figure out – yes, means keep the law – no, means overturn it.  Simple right?

Having cleared up all lingering confusion, if you’re reading this and you live in Maryland – VOTE YES ON QUESTION 6.

If you have family or friends in Maryland and you can exert any influence over said friend or relative, urge, cajole, shame, whatever it takes, to get them to VOTE YES ON QUESTION 6.

The vote is close, but current polls suggest the referendum will pass and the law will remain. I would dearly love for Maryland to become the first state to uphold the gay marriage law in a statewide referendum. Let’s make it happen!

1 Comment

  1. podga says:

    I have a couple of friends in MD – I’ll be sure to let them know. And thanks, Andy!

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