Here is a perfect example of an elected official allowing his religious beliefs to influence his responsibility as a legislator. Del. Bob Marshall of Virginia ("On marriage, O'Malley should heed O'Brien," Aug 16) obviously does not grasp the concept of separation of church and state. Nowhere in the proposed legislation does it require any religious institution to participate or condone same-sex marriage.
We are all familiar with the phrase "no taxation without representation," but when it comes to the opinions of religious bodies in affairs of state, I would suggest "no representation without taxation" is more appropriate.
Mr. Marshall goes on to say that our governor should think twice before he checks his faith at the door of the governor's mansion. Quite the opposite is true. The governor or any other elected official not only should, but is required to check his or her faith at the door of government.
Archbishop O'Brien has every right to voice his opinion about this or any other issue, but he cannot and should not have a voice beyond the church except when he walks into the voting booth like the rest of us.
Mr. Marshall concludes his commentary with the caution that the Catholic church did not change its clear teaching on marriage for the King of England and won't change it for the governor of Maryland. To that I say that no one is asking it to do so.
Finally, it strikes me as presumptuous for a lawmaker from Virginia to opine on government business in Maryland. I urge Gov. Martin O'Malley to stick to his principles and continue to do what is right and just.
Arnold Paskoff, Baltimore