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Area residents share opinions on same-sex marriage bill

February 20, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Bill Schutz
By Caleb Calhoun/Mobile Reporter

HAGERSTOWN — Bill Schutz of Hagerstown said although he is a Catholic, he supports same-sex marriage.

“I think Jesus Christ is a loving God, and I don’t think it really matters who you love,” he said. “Who somebody chooses to love doesn’t make who the person is.”

Schutz, 32, was among area residents Monday who gave their opinions on the bill to legalize same-sex marriage that on Friday passed the Maryland House of Delegates. The bill next will go to the Senate.

Schutz said he supports the legislation because people have a right to choose whom they love.

“I don’t like to see minorities of any kind kept down,” he said. “Same-sex (couples) should be able to enjoy marriage the same as any other citizen.”

Boonsboro resident Jim Massey, 54, said that the bill does not bother him because he also thinks people have a right to same-sex marriages.

“The only time a person’s rights should come into question is when they violate somebody else’s rights,” he said. “People should be able to live their life the way they want to.”

Massey added he thinks same-sex marriage is becoming more acceptable in society.

“This is a fight that has been going on for a long time. It’s progress,” he said. “With the way things have changed, people should be able to live their own lives.”

Hagerstown resident Edward Harwart said he did not support the bill because of his religious beliefs.

“Religion is part of everything we do,” he said. “It’s in the Bible that same-sex marriage is wrong.”

Harwart, 56, said some of his friends are homosexual but he does not support them getting married.

“It’s just not right. I have nothing against them,” he said. “If the world was based on same-sex relationships, there would be no children.”

Charles Johnson, 40, of Hagerstown said he did not have a problem with a bill because it will not hurt anybody.

“If a same-sex couple gets married, they’re not going to shut down Potomac Street,” he said. “It comes down to money, and they should have the same rights to make financial decisions other couples have.”

Hagerstown resident Jason Shumaker, 32, said he supported the bill and that religious people should not be offended by it.

“That’s an old-school thought process, and this is a new age,” he said. “The Bible says we should love each other unconditionally, not condemn them.”

Krista Mitchell, 31, of Hagerstown, said she thought people should not care if same-sex couples get married.

“There should be equality for everyone, and everyone should be able to marry who they’re comfortable with,” she said. “(Same-sex couples) should be happy with who they are, and everyone should respect that.”

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