Moving Marriage Equality Forward

Dear Friends and Members of ERUCC: 

For months now, we as a congregation, have been working to support civil marriage rights for all loving couples in Maryland.  We were active in thefall and early winter for thelegislative work and we have been out front in support of Question 6 since it was placed as a referendum on theballot for November 6th

The word is thattheopposition is gearing up to place some very ugly ads on TV, radio and inthenewspapers that will lead people to fear that children will be harmed bytheir gay and lesbian parents having protections underthelaw and that religious leader will be forced to marry gay and lesbian couples.  WE NEED TO GET OUT IN FRONT ofthese fears andthese false accusations.  It is vital that our words be in people’s minds as people take advantage of early voting and not be lead by false accusations.

The truth is that children of same gender loving couples are being harmed becausetheir parents do not havethesame protections underthelaw as other families. 

If someone tells you that religious leaders will be forced to marry couples againsttheir faith tradition and values this is WRONG.  As clergy, we have ALWAYS hadthe freedom to say, “Yes,” or “no.”  Always.  The Civil Marriage Protection Act continues this protection for religious institutions.

I am asking you to do several things:

  1. Consider what we value as a congregation.  Consider the values of love and respect and civil liberties for all.
  2. Picture in your mind the loving couples and families in our congregation whose  will live more securely as a result of the current civil marriage protection law.
  3. Please write to your friends and family and carry in your purse of wallet the  language of Question 6 to challenge any of these false claims that our religious liberties are being denied.  

    The Question reads:

    Question 6 – Civil Marriage Protection Act

    Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage licenseprovided 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.    

  4. Please have your response ready, “As I Christian, I support Question 6 because…
  5. Write letters to the editor and post your thoughts on your Facebook site so that         others see that as a person of faith you are standing on the side of love.   Share a story (without names unless you have permission) of why this is    important to you and your family.  It is VITAL that straight folks speak out and for our LGBT friends.   Here’s some language:  My friends or    several families in our congregation have been together for ___ years and I   have witnessed their love and the love for their children.  They want to legally marry because like other couples who want to marry, they have made a lifelong commitment to each other and their children, and hope for the same legal protections that other families have.

History tells us that the opposition’s false and divisive TV ads – now on air – succeed at confusing and misleading voters, and have led to our defeat in other states.  That’s why I am asking you to write, to have conversations, to post, to share what you value and believe.  This is about love and this is about justice.

Peace,

Pastor  Daniel 

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