Saturday, January 26, 2008
MD - civil marriage
The Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis is considering a bill to remove reference to biological gender from it's marriage law, making marriage a strictly "civil contract." The bill would contain a clear statement that no religious group has to recognize a marriage against its beliefs. The idea was expressed that religious groups already can refuse to marry "unbelievers" from outside the faith, or refuse inter-faith marriages. The comment was also made that civil marriage is an institution designed by man and governments, not by "God."
The Washington Post story by "Annapolis Notebook" comes from page B04 Metro of the Saturday Jan. 26 paper. The title is "In a Nod to Britt, Democrats Push Same-Sex Marriage as Civil Rights Issue," link here. The reference is to State Sen. Gwendolyn T. Britt (D-Prince George's County, directly east of Washington DC).
Update: Feb. 5, 2008
There is a bill before the Maryland General Assembly that would end "civil marriage" and replace it with "domestic partnership" with the same rights and responsibilities for all adult couples, of the same or opposite sex. The story is by Lisa Rein, is titled, "Bill Would End Civil Marriage, Create Domestic Partnerships," p B04, link here.
The sponsor is state senator Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery County). I know, all the conservatives will say, "this destroys marriage." If I can't marry, then you can't -- share the burdens, it seems to say. In a few other states, civil unions provide some but not all of the responsibilities and rights of full marriage.
Feb. 28, 2008
The Maryland General Assembly continues to consider the issue, and must consider a counter proposal, a state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman, common in many states now. The NBC4 story today is here.