same sex marriage

Letter published in Capital , Annapololis, 12-15-11

Same-sex marriage

Citizens are being rallied already to again oppose legalization of same-sex marriage, which is presented by religiously affiliated groups as an attack on the traditional definition of marriage.

Gov. Martin O’Malley wishes to enlarge the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. I do not see any interference with traditional religious definitions of marriage, which religious organizations may continue to uphold. Since the changes proposed by the governor refer to the secular definition of marriage, there is no “threat to religious liberty,” as some Catholics argue.

In some states, Catholic Charities has shut down adoption services rather than place children with same-sex couples – a decision they say was forced on them. The unproven assumption here is that same-sex persons are unsuitable as parents or adoptive parents. I know of no solid empirical studies that verify that claim. If such studies exist where are they?

Anecdotal evidence is not scientific. I, and people I have spoken to, can point to many same-sex couples who have raised well-adjusted children who are as emotionally and spiritually healthy as their peers from so-called traditional marriages.

It must never be forgotten that some of the most ardent opponents of same-sex people in western society have been Christian groups, especially those claiming biblical evidence for their hatred and violence.

We are grateful that ours is a pluralistic society; we must not claim infringements of religious rights where none exist, nor should we try to impose any reduction of the rights of others in the name of religious beliefs.

PAUL SURLIS

Crofton

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