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09/28/2012

Marriage does bring us together; the Maryland Marriage Alliance does not

by Jeremy Hooper

I really loathe claims like this:

Screen Shot 2012-09-28 At 8.15.40 Am

Let's have some perspective here. The fact of the matter is that the fairly elected Maryland legislature passed a clean bill affording equal civil marriage rights to same-gender couples. The fairly elected governor then signed said bill. This process put the state's LGB couples on the path towards equal civil rights—a concept that comes at the expense of no one else's rights.

But what happened? The Maryland Marriage Alliance stepped in to turn the whole thing into a divisive ballot fight. Motivated almost exclusively by faith belief, this coalition began the process of condemnation for equal marriage rights and, by extension, LGBT people themselves. In a super important election cycle where Old Line Staters could be directing focus toward the economy, healthcare, national security, or any other matter of concern, the Maryland Marriage has forced this discriminatory "culture war" conversation onto the populace. Once again, LGBT people and their allies must suffer the indignity of seeing civil rights go onto a ballot, as if such are fit to be determined by a popularity contest. As if it is a student council election or something.

In the opposition movement's never-ending fury to shirk any and all responsibility for the hostilities they have imposed onto the national psyche, we now have yet another state group acting as if theirs is the uniting cause. But it's not. It never will be. When history is written, the Maryland Marriage Alliance and all of the likeminded causes to come before will be seen as the folks who, at a time when we so desperately needed to come together, chose to instead divide this great nation with stigmatizing fear cards. That's surely an uncomfortable truth for those who have spent the past decade or more dealing these cards for the sake of political connections, punditry gigs, and immeasurable profit. But it's the truth, nonetheless. Future museums will exhibit this truth, no matter how much the present day spin machines try to blow it away.

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