Former Governor: Maryland Will Be the 32nd State to Reject SSM


Robert Ehrlich, former Maryland governor and member of Congress, in his most recent Baltimore Sun column:

Maryland's present flirtation with gay marriage is only the latest chapter in a long-running culture war. In the "Free State's" case, it will ultimately come down to the people through a ballot initiative. A likely result: a coalition of Catholics, African-Americans, Hispanics and conservatives from both sides of the aisle send the measure to a decisive defeat. (Such a result would make Maryland the 32nd state to defeat a gay marriage referendum.) Opponents of all stripes will be tested in unique ways. First and foremost will be how to go about stating an opposing opinion without the usual "ism" and "phobic" charges from the secular left. It's not so easy — being on the cultural defensive never is.

... Today, many African-American preachers are taken aback by the criticism directed their way by some gay advocates. Many of these pastors are veterans of the civil rights movement; they are not acclimated to the negative epithets directed their way as a result of activism on behalf of traditional marriage. Theirs is a faith-based position identical to that of the majority of white religious leaders and many liberal politicians, including President Barack Obama. They do not deserve such invective.

... Many of us draw the line at marriage, however. We ask the state to defend this fundamentally important (albeit flawed) institution — not redefine it down to fit the demand of an influential interest group. Indeed, one redefinition will most assuredly beget additional redefinitions: Why not a civil right to more than one spouse? Where does one draw the line once the traditional threshold is crossed?

Traditional marriage is integral to our Judeo-Christian heritage. It is the institution most adept at the business of raising children. For many opponents, it's not a civil rights issue. It's about a foundational institution that deserves this ultimate protection.