Maryland’s General Assembly narrowly passed legislation in February to fundamentally alter our long-standing law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The enormous public outcry that this legislation has generated – voiced by Marylanders that span political, racial, social and religious backgrounds – demonstrates a clear need to take this issue to a vote of the people.
The Catholic Church – through the Maryland Catholic Conference – is partnering with the Maryland Marriage Alliance to petition the same-sex ‘marriage’ law to referendum and then to win at the ballot box on November 6. In 31 other states where this issue has been brought to a statewide vote, the people have voted to uphold marriage between one man and one woman.
Nearly 56,000 valid signatures need to be collected by June 30 in order to place this issue on the ballot in Maryland – and Catholic parishes and other faith institutions across Maryland are leading the way. The first one-third of valid signatures must be collected by May 31, with the remaining two-thirds by June 30.
What Can You Do?
• Donate to the Maryland Marriage Alliance to support upholding marriage in Maryland. (Your contribution is not tax-deductible.)
• Ask your pastor to appoint you as the Conference’s Marriage Parish Advocate.
• Help your parish with its petition drive.
• Register to vote. Only registered voters can sign the petition and only registered voters can vote in November. (It can take up to three weeks to be registered once you submit your form.)
"No one should be misled by the claim that New Ways Ministry provides an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching and an authentic Catholic pastoral practice. Their claim to be Catholic only confuses the faithful regarding the authentic teaching and ministry of the Church with respect to persons with a homosexual inclination."
Read statement by bishops clarifying that New Ways Ministry is not a recognized Catholic organization.
Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
"In response to numerous requests for some clarification about the entity called Catholics for Equality and its relationship to the Catholic Church, this statement follows upon a study of the available material presented by the group and after attempts to communicate directly with the leader of the group. It should also be noted that Father Joseph Palacios, who claims to head this group, is not a priest of this archdiocese nor does he enjoy the faculties of the archdiocese nor have permission to exercise any ministry here."
In marriage, a husband and a wife make a public and reciprocal commitment, assuming duties to society, to themselves, and to their children. Society and the law reciprocate by bestowing on traditional marriage a privileged status that recognizes the essential role that families play in society. The family, based on marriage, is a natural institution that is prior to the state. As such, the reservation of marriage to the union of one man and one woman is a fact of nature, not a social prejudice.
In recognition of the critical role marriage plays in the well being of future generations and a stable society, the Church advocates for public policies that protect traditional marriage and promote the security of the family.
“Defending the institution of marriage as a social reality is ultimately a question of justice, since it entails safeguarding the good of the entire human community and the rights of parents and children alike.”
“Children are the greatest treasure and the future of every society: truly caring for them means recognizing our responsibility to teach, defend and live the moral virtues which are the key to human fulfillment.”
Address to U.S. Bishops, March 9, 2012
Despite a video campaign featuring a few elite Marylanders designed to sway grassroots opinion for same-sex marriage – especially among the African-American community – polling shows that not much has changed.
What has changed?
Support among African-Americans has fallen by eight percentage points – from 41% in favor of same-sex marriage in October 2011 to 33% in favor in this month’s poll.