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Rights of Gay Maryland Couples Threatened by One LegislatorDem

This commentary is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the opinions of other authors at this site.

Timothy Kincaid

March 7th, 2008

muse.jpgThe Baltimore Sun is reporting that gay couples in Maryland may have to settle, at least for a while, for far less than marriage equality.

Although the state’s legislature is overwhelmingly Democrat, it appears that not only is marriage considered an impossible goal, so too is civil unions or really anything other than small package of selected benefits. And it is all due to one man:

[Sen. C. Anthony ] Muse, a Prince George’s County Democrat, opposes same-sex marriage but had considered supporting civil unions. He said yesterday that while civil unions are “off the table,” he’s concerned about providing equal rights. He said a more narrowly tailored bill could have the support in the full Senate to pass.

Although there are between 340 and 425 benefits provided by the state that could be provided on an equal measure, gay couples can at best expect a trickle.

Lawmakers expect that the alternative measure would combine three existing bills conferring some rights and benefits, such as hospital visitation rights, to same-sex couples into one bill. They plan to build upon that with other protections.

Muse, an evangelical minister, seems to base his objections to civil equality on his own religious beliefs. While this is not uncommon in Republican politics (to the dismay of fiscal conservatives, federalists, and libertarians), the Democrat Party prides itself – and rightly so – in placing equality of citizens as a higher priority than the observation of religious exclusionary traditions.

But as of yet I have not heard of any repercussions to Sen. Muse’s obstinate religously motivated political actions coming from either the state or national Democrat party. Muse seems to be free to dictate discrimination, and it does not appear to me that any Democrats in positions of leadership are willing to stand up to him and call him on his bigotry.

I have no doubt that there are a great many of our readers that are Democrats. Further, I am convinced that members of the gay community are far far more dedicated and contribute more time and money per capita to Democrats than nearly any other constituents.

It is a disgusting betrayal of trust that this state be dominated by Democrats who are willing to give their gay citizens merely the barest pitance. I think it may be time for loyal gay Democrats to contact their friends in Maryland leadership and in the national Democrat leadership and ask why Sen. Muse has been given veto power on providing any measure of equality to gay couples.

Perhaps a good question might be why Sen. Muse continues to sit on that committee.

And if the State or National Party is unwilling to stand up for gay citizens, perhaps the next fundraising appeal should receive the following response from gay party members:

Of course, in words I support the Party. And naturally some day, when the populace is in total agreement about the Democrat Party and such an act isn’t controversial, I’ll send you a check for $1,000. But in the meanwhile, here’s a check for two cents. Oh, and I’ll be sure to tell everyone just what a great person I am for giving you anything at all.

We deserve better, people. Let’s demand it.

C. ANTHONY MUSE
Democrat, District 26, Prince George’s County
James Senate Office Building, Room 304
11 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 841-3092, (301) 858-3092
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3092 (toll free)
e-mail: anthony.muse@senate.state.md.us
fax: (410) 841-3410, (301) 858-3410

Maryland Democratic Party
188 Main Street Suite 1
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-269-8818 (main)
410-280-8882 (fax)
webdem@mddems.org

Democratic National Committee
430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003
Main Phone Number: 202-863-8000
(For questions about contributions, please call 877-336-7200)
email here

Comments

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Ben in Oakland
March 7th, 2008 | LINK

Just sent to the Democrat

Sir:

It always amazes me how quickly some black people, especially black ministers, are willing to jump on the homophobia bandwagon– and how willing they are to cite their bibles as their rationalization.

Your ancestors were not born in the New World, they were brought there as slaves by white people who quoted their bibles and were as sure as it was possible to be that God liked slavery, and that enslaving black people was entirely within their rights because black people were inferior beings and God thought that this was a good idea.

I do not equate the horror of slavery with what is done to gay people on a daily basis, but they are both certainly evil.Yet here you are, loudly proclaiming the rightness of your hate, that God agrees with this, that this is somehow a good idea. And I’m sure you cite your bible as your reason. Sound familiar?

Here’s my question to you as a black minister: with 300 years of oppression, discrimination, hatred, slavery and murder behind you, why do you think your homo-hatred is OK?

Or maybe I’ll just make something up for your answer. “What was done to our ancestors was a great evil thing. That is very different from hating perverted sexuality.”

My answer: your are very right. It is different in two ways.

1) Before, it was your group on the receiving end of bigotry, persecution, and oppression, all justified from a particular reading of some parts of the bible. The difference is that now it’s your group that’s doing the oppressing, all justified from a particular reading of some parts of the bible.

2) The second difference between your perspective and mine? That you can convince yourself that there ACTUALLY IS A DIFFERENCE.

Black women have, I believe, the highest rate of HIV infection, primarily due, I think, to down-low men who have unsafe sex with other men and then pass their diseases first to their wives, and then to their unborn children. So black women are dying for the sake of a black pastor’s certainty in his homo-hatred. More could be done for the black family by supporting gay people in their quest to end this stupid prejudice than any amount of posturing and constitutional amendments could EVER hope to accomplish.

InXanadu2
March 8th, 2008 | LINK

Ben–

LOVE the letter!

Please send a copy to Donnie McClurkin.

Ben in Oakland
March 8th, 2008 | LINK

Thanks, Xan. Feel free to copy and forward it to him.

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