1. Disgusted American says

    these people are like children……Marriage is NOT going to be re-defined – ONLY in your OWN Mind…..No one is forcing anyone to marry anyone….your marriage will be defined by the way you marry…..Dahhhhhhh

  2. Anonymouse says

    They should really start adding the word “anti-gay” in front of the word “religious” on these bills because many religious organizations would happily marry two men or two women. Homophobes do not speak for all religions. Gay-friendly religious organizations ought to start speaking up about this issue if they do not already. This bill should have been written as follows to make the distinction clear and further isolate the homophobes:

    “Under the terms of the Act, an official of an ANTI-GAY religious institution or body who is authorized to solemnize marriages, may not be required to solemnize any marriage in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution, or Article 36 of our Constitution. As amended, the bill also provides that an ANTI-GAY religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit operated by one, may not be required to provide services accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to an LGBT individual if the request is related to the solemnization of a marriage or celebration of marriage that is in violation of the entity’s ANTI-GAY religious beliefs.”

  3. Chuck Mielke says

    Of course, if we told them they were simply being paranoid… But I honestly wonder: don’t these people ever get tired of being frightened… and bullied?

  4. dctopman says

    Here is the email I wrote to my state senator yesterday:

    Dear Senator Pinsky,

    Billy McNeel and I are so happy to know that you are a co-sponsor for Senate Bill 116. Thank you for your support. We live in your district and are both proud to have voted for you.

    I also know that today you will likely encounter some of the people from various Roman Catholic communities as they come to Annapolis for their lobbying day. Doubtless, they will ask you to reconsider your vote.

    I hope that you will remind them that passage of SB 116 will protect the religious freedom of ALL of the different religious denominations in Maryland. The strong religious freedom provisions of the bill mean that a Roman Catholic priest will not be obliged to marry a couple who are of the same-sex, just as presently that same priest can decline to marry someone who has previously been divorced–even though the civil law in Maryland does allow for remarriage after a divorce.

    At the same time, passage of this bill will protect the religious freedom of congregations like the one that Billy and I belong to. Our Episcopal parish, St. George’s, Glenn Dale, MD supports same-sex couples. In fact, six couples from our parish–including Billy and me–have gone to the District of Columbia to be married in a civil ceremony, and afterwards we have held blessings of those relationships in our church by our priest. We were civilly married on Friday, June 18, 2010 on a beautiful sunny day in the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. The blessing of our marriage was held at St. George’s the next day at 11 am surrounded by 140 friends and family members. Legalizing our 17 year long relationship was a very important event in our lives. Even though both events were wonderful occasions, how much more wonderful would it have been if we had been able to get married in the state where Billy has lived all of his 51 years and which I have called home for the last 22!

    When SB 116 passes and becomes law, our church will have its religious freedom protected by being able to marry couples who choose to get married in our church rather than having to cross the state line into DC.

    Best wishes,

    Roy Peterson

  5. K says

    Anonymouse- Standing On The Side Of Love ( is a pubic advocacy campaign sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association. The campaign is speaking up about this issue by giving a voice to compassionate religious people and congregations promoting social justice causes, including LGBT rights and marriage equality. Their campaign director is the wonderful Dan Furmansky, who is the immediate past executive director of Equality Maryland.

  6. TruthSeeker_Too says

    Congratulations Roy and Billy on getting hitched! Your letter is one that every legislator in the country should read (and hopefully receive from some couple in their district). Thanks for sharing.

    Time for every pro-gay person in this country to get ready for the inevitable smear campaign that will be waged in Maryland by hate-groups like NOM and the anti-gay leaders of the Catholic and Mormon “churches” to vote away our rights, once this bill is passed.

    We narrowly lost such ballot measures in California and Maine. Let’s make sure we win this time in Maryland. Start sending money to Equality Maryland and contacting people you know who live in the state to help pass this bill and then work to defend it at the ballot box.

    Go Free State!