We have placed a yard sign stating "Don't Redefine Marriage Vote Against Question 6" in our lawn. This is undoubtedly a very divisive issue, but nevertheless, a very important one. We did not place the sign out of ill will toward any person or group of people, nor do we wish to hurt anyone. We uphold the value, dignity, and worth of every person.
It is because marriage is so foundational to all of society that we felt compelled to publicly support marriage, and because the media often hypes and distorts the message, that we want to clarify our reasons for our position.
· Marriage predates government and religion. It is not based on bigotry or social prejudice, but the on the biological difference between men and women.
· Marriage is the life-long, faithful, exclusive relationship between a man and a woman which best creates the loving and stable environment for raising children.
· Every person in history who has ever lived or is alive today is here because of the union of a man and a woman. It is the union of a man and a woman which creates the new generation.
· "The future of humanity passes by way of the family." Pope John Paul II (Familaris Consortio n. 86)
· Although not all marriages have children, all children have a mother and a father. Countless studies have shown that the "Gold Standard" for raising children is in a stable, loving family with their biological parents. Government recognition and promotion of marriage is based on the societal good that comes from marriage.
· The new Maryland law, which has been put to referendum, does not create an expanded definition of marriage, or one that coexists with the old. It creates a totally new definition for marriage. "One man and one woman" is stricken from the Code, and "any two individuals who are not otherwise prohibited from marrying" replaces it.
· This new genderless marriage has far-reaching consequences.
· Redefining marriage redefines parenthood. Redefining marriage changes the family structure.
· Prior to this, the government has upheld a child's right to know and be connected to both parents in its divorce and child support laws. President Obama, early in his presidency, urged fathers to stay involved in the lives of their children.
· The new law changes this. Genderless marriage creates genderless parenting. It says that fathers and mothers are meaningless distinctions in parenting; that any two loving people are all a child needs. But two dads don't equal a mom, and two mothers don't equal a dad.
· The statement that a child needs a father and a mother will now be deemed "denigrating" and "mean-spirited", as the Boston Globe accused Governor Romney in 2005.
· Religious liberty and freedom of speech are curtailed by the new law. The religious protection wording really does not offer protection.
¨ Churches and clergy are already protected from performing marriage ceremonies against their doctrinal beliefs. The law does not allow individuals or businesses any conscience protection.
¨ Angela McCaskill, the first deaf black woman to earn a PhD from Gallaudet University, was suspended without pay from Gallaudet, where she has worked for 23 years, just for signing a petition which would allow Marylanders the right to vote on the new marriage bill.
¨ The mayors of Boston, Chicago, and Washington DC told Chick Fil A that the food chain was not welcome in their cities because the president, Dan Cathy, expressed support for Biblical marriage. The food chain does not discriminate in serving customers or in hiring, but the religious beliefs of the business's owner made the franchise too intolerant to be tolerated in these cities.
¨ Other individuals have lost their jobs for voicing support for traditional marriage; businesses have been fined or forced out of business.
Some religious leaders, politicians, and journalists claim that Jesus would support the new definition of marriage based on the Golden Rule, or on love of neighbor. Yet Jesus made a very clear statement on marriage in Matthew 19: "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
The passage that Jesus refers to is found in Genesis. This Genesis passage that mankind is created in God's image is the basis of human rights, the basis for the dignity and worth of each human being as stated in our Declaration of Independence. There is no racial, ethnic, or sexual superiority. However there is the very clear understanding that we are created male and female for the very good purpose of uniting to create new life.
As Dr Martin Luther King famously wrote in his "Letter from a Birmingham jail", "A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law…An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law."
Our strong support for the goodness of natural marriage is based on a profound respect for God's creation of us as men and women, for the goodness of the family, and for a deep concern over the unintended consequences of redefining marriage.
Thank you for taking the time to read this,