Recognizing gay marriages is common sense

December 20, 2009

I am writing in response to Thursday's editorial "A matter of equal rights" (Dec. 17). Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered couples and allies in Maryland are celebrating the historic passage of the marriage equality bill in Washington, D.C. This is proof that despite any recent setbacks, there is a strong momentum behind the efforts to advance equal marriage protections for all couples.

Many same-sex couples in Maryland want the right to legally marry because they want to honor their relationship in the greatest way our society has to offer, by making a public commitment to stand together in good times and bad, through all the joys and challenges family life brings.

Now that couples can obtain a marriage license by simply traveling to the District, Maryland must move forward in not only recognizing out-of-state marriages but also in passing the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. It is hard to imagine that couples will be entitled to equal protections in D.C., but when their car or Metro passes over the border, they will lose those crucial protections for their families. Maryland also stands to lose large sums of new tax revenue from residents who travel to Washington or the five other states with marriage-equality provisions.

History bends not only toward fairness and equality but also toward common sense. Marriage strengthens couples and families, who in turn help strengthen their communities, leading ultimately to a stronger, more robust nation. We will reach a time in this country when we value and protect all families equally.Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Silver Spring

The writer is executive director of Equality Maryland.

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