Marriage is not some social experiment to be tinkered with

February 24, 2011

While it seems the Maryland legislature can't wait to support same sex marriage, I hope there is still time to oppose the attempt to redefine marriage as anything but a social contract between a man and a woman. The American family is not a laboratory for social experimentation, yet under the leadership of a misguided political class, over the last 50 years, that's exactly what the family has become.

Marriage is clearly one of the oldest human traditions, dating further back in recorded human history than even the first appearance of nation-states, before there were recognized geographical boundaries, before there were even governments. Marriage represents the intrinsic fabric of the civil society and is a tradition that should be protected in the form in which it has been historically understood and accepted. I believe 6000 year old traditions do not need to be changed or updated for the political expedience and acceptance of those living in only the most recent days of our recorded human experience.

The idea that being married is the only way to seal specific so-called civil rights is a red herring. Other than procreating for the benefit and viability of the continued existence of the nation, virtually every other so-called right derived by virtue of marriage can also be guaranteed through wills, contracts and other enforceable agreements and instruments. That's just a fact.

Big change should require big majorities, otherwise tension and strife will settle throughout our country for generations. Just look at the conflict begot by the Roe v. Wade opinion that stole from the majority of Americans the right to make their voices heard on that important issue. The issue of gay marriage is no different and should not become the law in our state merely because a group of political operatives says so. I reject that notion.

When given the opportunity to express their opinion, voters in other states rejected same-sex marriage as their state's policy. I believe the citizens of Maryland should similarly be allowed to express their opinion on this important issue through a state referendum that will be binding on the state legislature.

Joel Rosenberg, Ellicott City

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