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Letter to the Editor - Nov. 16

November 16, 2012

Maryland’s vote for marriage equality makes me proud


To the editor:

Kudos to Tim Rowland for his column supporting marriage equality (“In America, rights take precedent over beliefs,” Nov. 4). Love requires that everyone be treated equally and with dignity and respect. Thanks for the love, Tim, and everyone who voted to make marriage equality a reality in Maryland. You make me proud to call Maryland home.

Del. Christopher Shank, on the other hand, voiced his opposition to marriage equality on the same page (“Law would force gay beliefs on others”). I would remind Del. Shank that the Constitution promises equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.

Elected officials must uphold the Constitution’s separation of church and state. While Del. Shank and others are free to practice their interpretation of scripture within their own faith community, they are not free to impose those beliefs on the rest of us. This is a secular democracy, not a theocracy.

No one’s religious belief should infringe on the human or civil rights of another human being or be detrimental to their well-being. Religion should lift you up and be life-giving. At the very least, it should do no harm. Anti-gay religious teachings and practices, and the resultant oppression, suffering and death are perhaps the worst heresy of the Christian faith.

The science is clear. Being gay is not a choice but a naturally occurring variation of human sexuality and does no harm to the individual or society. It is the prejudice and discrimination that gays face that is the cause of much suffering and death.

Cris F. Elkins
Knoxville, Md.

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