This article is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin
March 15th, 2008
Those who are regular readers know my frustration with the Democratic Party in Maryland. They have allowed one anti-gay legislator to dictate the level of discrimination that the state will impose on its gay citizens.
Let me be clear. Most Republicans in the state are far worse, many seeking to ban equality through revision to the state constitution. And some even oppose letting couples in a long term relationships make medical decisions for each other.
On the Senate floor yesterday, Republicans said that allowing an unmarried couple who have been partners only a short time to trump parents or children in crucial life-and-death medical decisions struck them as irresponsible.
“How far are we going to go?” asked Sen. Alex X. Mooney (R-Frederick). “Let’s not put domestic partners above the family. Let’s put them after.”
But that isn’t all that surprising from the Party that brought us Sally Kern. Such attitudes, however, are supposed to not prevail in the Democratic Party. Yet it is the Democratic Party leadership that has placed power in the hands of a man who blocked the chance of Senators to even consider marriage equality or civil unions.
Religious objections proved the determining factor in a key, evenly split Senate committee that a marriage or civil unions bill needed to clear before getting to the floor. The swing vote was C. Anthony Muse, a Prince George’s County Democrat who was lobbied intensely by gay rights advocates and lawmakers to pass a civil unions bill. But Muse, pastor of an evangelical Christian church in Upper Marlboro, said he ultimately was bound by biblical teachings that say only men and women should marry. The bills are likely to languish without a vote.
There will be a vote taken on some piece-meal rights such as health care decisions or inheritance. But Muse was not content in allowing gay people to make determinations about their own health without taking the opportunity to champion bigotry.
yesterday, he voted for several Republican-sponsored changes to the medical decision-making measure, including one that would have barred public schools from teaching about domestic partnerships. The changes were rejected. Muse said he is unsure how he will vote when the Senate takes a final vote on the bill next week.
I do not doubt that Senator Muse has experienced discrimination in his lifetime. But that does not excuse him for doling it out to those citizens that he dislikes.
And it’s time for the Democratic Party in Maryland to recognize that those minority legislators, be they gay or black or whatever, who campaign against the rights of other minorities, be they gay or black or whatever, are engaging in bigotry and have no place in any position of authority.
Senator Muse needs to feel the consequences of his homophobia. And as long as the Maryland Democratic Party continues to allow Muse to stand in the way of equality, they will receive no respect from me.
Blade Asks What Happened In Maryland
Maryland Passes Limited Rights for Gay Couples
Maryland Balances Budget by Taxing Gay Widows
Maryland Senator Muse Champions Bigotry
Maryland AG Endorses Marriage Equality
Maryland Legislator Calls Anti-Gay Bluff
Maryland Introduces Bill to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage – Are Democrats Committed to Equality?
Maryland Marriage Poll
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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