Same-Sex Marriage and Your Right to Discriminate
A picture is worth a thousand words, particularly the photo to the Baltimore Sun article reporting opponents to Maryland’s same-sex marriage law have collected more than twice the signatures needed for a referendum on the November ballot. Everyone pictured is overcome with joy, including state delegate Emmett Burns. When I look at the photo I ask myself, What are they so happy about?
Rev. Derek McCoy, executive director of the group leading opposition to the law, believes “Marylanders have a right to vote on this issue.” But Rev. McCoy is wrong. Marylanders have no right to discriminate through popular vote. I have no right to vote on civil rights, but I’m compelled to because of the machinations of far too many religious leaders and “traditional” marriage supporters.
Rev. McCoy invokes the “right to vote” to advance his right to discriminate, marginalize and subjugate. Looking at the Sun photo, I see a group of people–sadly, majority African American–basking in the glory of oppression. And I’m disgusted.
Obviously, opponents of same-sex marriage don’t see themselves as oppressors–they are defenders of traditional marriage between one man and one woman. Of course, men and women will continue to marry despite same-sex marriage legislation and if you defend a tradition that excludes and discriminates, you support subjugation.
Many opponents of same-sex marriage see marriage equality as an attack on religion. Again, what a silly argument. An attack on religion would be a popular vote to determine how citizens could worship. An attack on religion would be a referendum that questions the charitable status of religious institutions. As it is, citizens are free to practice religions of all sorts, from Judaism to Paganism, and everything in between.
Marriage equality has nothing to do with attacking; it’s about uplifting and extending civil rights. And I’ve no right to impede nor interfere. (And nor do you.)