As Maryland readies for a lengthy and controversial debate regarding whether the 'Free State' should become only the sixth state to recognize such unions, including the neighboring District of Columbia. However, in a jurisdiction where the electorate is almost evenly divided in its opposition and/or support of such legislation, where each Maryland legislator stands in their vote should be made readily available to the voters of this great state.
An issue that has long been the dividing social issue of the 21st century, where some reference it as the new Civil Rights struggle of this generation, it certainly has many debating, and at times, questioning their faith. Despite anyones religious background, no spiritual text allows for such same sex intimacy. Yet many have begun to question God's commands in these books, making excuses as to why they feel we should support such lifestyles. However, when one looks to the context of Sadom and Gomorah, they will certainly see that though many made excuses, He did not tolerate such actions. As the Prophets wife merely turned back for another glance - disobeying His direct command to continue forward without second-guessing and looking back toward the land of corruption - she was then turned into a pillar of salt. Therefore who are we to insist on a new form of goverment that allows for laws that go directly contrary to the commands of our Creator?
The rights of individuals who choose such a lifestyle cannot be violated if they choose such a life! For the civil rights of blacks were made based on their race which was not chosen but given to them through birth right. Therefore the argument can not be made on behalf of this movement, for people such as Senator Joanne Benson, who fought for the rights of blacks along side the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr., is against this particular legislation which does not make her an opponent of people's civil rights, merely a wise and faithful woman, basing her decision on God's commands and the meaning behind the founding fathers words in the United States and Maryland Constitutions! Though it certainly does not speak directly to being a relationship between a man and woman, it could certainly be interpreted that way giving such decisions to the courts who should ultimately make this decision. I, though not believing personally in such a lifestyle, nor its advocacy in schools and society to be taught to my children, also do not believe that these 181-members of the Maryland General Assembly or the 535-members of Congress should be given the right to decide on such personal matters.
If not decided by the courts as Roe v Wade and the abortion decision was, which ultimately I do not believe either yet respect the decision of the courts, then we should allow for such decisions to be made by the People, through referendum. This conversation, and its ultimate decision, should be made by those it effects most! Not by those being lobbied and paid off to vote one way or another. Thank God that our state's constitution allows for such referendum of newly passed laws through voters' signatures to be placed on the ballot of the next upcoming election. The following are the reported State Senate legislators that are for such legislation and a few that are questionably undecided. (The remaining 21-Senators are obviously well versed and God fearing opponents of the legislation.):
FOR: Bill Ferguson-(D-46), Jennie Forehand (D-17), Brian Frosh (D-16), Rob Garagiola (D-15), Lisa Gladden (D-41), Verna Jones (D-44), Delores Kelley (D-10), Nancy King (D-39), Allan Kittleman (R-9), Richard Madaleno (D-18), Roger Manno (D-19), Nathaniel McFadden (D-45), Karen Montgomery (D-14), Paul Pinsky (D-22), Catherine Pugh (D-40), Victor Ramirez (D-47), Jamie Raskin (D-20), James Robey (D-13), Ronald Young (D-3), Bobby Zirkin (D-11)
UNDECIDED: John Astle (D-30), Joan Carter Conaway (D-43), Ulyesses Currie (D-25), Edward Kasemeyer (D-12), Katherine Klausmeier (D-8), James Rosapepe (D-21)
Also in question is Governor O'Malley's fiscal management as the State's Chief Budgetary signature and his apparent public feud with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie - the freshman Governor who became a Republican national superstar almost overnight based on his fiscal prowess and management style. After a past feudin which Governor Christie became flabbergasted when Governor O'Malley attempted to deny that he increased Maryland's long-term debt at the National Governor's Association meeting in Boston last summer.
When the moderator was questioning the Governors on their balancing budget tricks in a period of economic uncertainty, upon following O'Malley's response to how he did such in Maryland, the moderator followed up with, "Part of the way you did that was dipping into your capital funds, right?" The Maryland Governor then stumbled in his response saying "No", however knowing as most do, that he apparently took funds from the cash-rich transportation and Chesapeake Bay restoration fund accounts in order to pay for on-going operation costs for the state. Yet this past week on WTOP, O'Malley then responded to such criticism by Christie by saying that the New Jersey Governor "delights in being abusive towards public employees." In response to such comments, Christie replied in an interview with Fox News with Neil Cavuto with the following:
"I heard that pabulum Governor O'Malley was spewing down in Maryland, He doesn't know what he is talking about. Come to New Jersey and listen to what I am saying rather than listening to his Democratic consultants. We are shining a bright light on what these things cost, and they cost a lot of money. Governor O'Malley calls that picking on public sector workers. I call that telling the people who are paying the bills the truth and not kissing up to every special interest you want to have on your side to get electoral success."
Following such comments, the state's Senate Minority Caucus issues a press release in response to this public bantering between the two, appluading the Jersey Gov. while criticizing the Maryland Governor. "From our perspective, O'Malley's five years of budget management has been based upon the economic philosophy of J. Wellington Wimpy (Popeye's sidekick) who frequently professed: 'I'll gladly pay you Thursday for a hamburger today.' Sadly, this O'Malley legacy of fiscal irresponsibility is mortgaging our children's future in Maryland."
Therefore its obvious to see that though the former Caucus leader, Senator Allan Kittleman, decided to step down last week based on his decision to introduce and support a civil unions bill allowing for certain rights to be afforded to those of the same sex, his absence shall not stop the forward thinking, publicly active small caucus of Maryland Republican Senators. Led now by its first woman, Senator Nancy Jacobs, and backed up by the Eastern Shore Senator and his effective leadership, E.J. Pipkin; this group is armed and ready to be offensive in their opinions, remarks and stances either for or against certain state legislation. For as the Senator told me, "If you can't stand up for something that you and your constituents whole-heartedly believe in, then you are subject to fall for anything! We may be the minority in terms of numbers in the Maryland Statehouse, yet we and those we represent, are the state's majority in terms of our values, morals and principles!" Big words coming from such a little lady in stature! Let's see exactly how effective their lobbying efforts are, as they only have seen one Senator, Allan Kittleman, stray from the Caucus' position against the same-sex marriage legislation. Next test if the Senate passes such a bill, is where the House GOP Caucus stands and how they can put the brakes on such legislation before its handed off to the Governor for his almost certain signature?
For more information on the Maryland Senate GOP Caucus visit their website here: http://www.mdsenategop.com
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