Historic Day in Maryland

Two years ago, the ACLU filed a suit on behalf of nine Maryland couples and a man whose partner recently passed away. The suit alleged that denying same-sex couples a marriage license is unconstitutional.

Today, a Baltimore court thought so too.

In the historic ruling, Judge M. Brooke Murdock said, "When tradition is the guise under which prejudice or animosity hides, it is not a legitimate state interest."

Although the ruling paves the way for marriage equality in Maryland, gay and lesbian couples can’t apply for marriage licenses yet. Most likely the judgment will be appealed to Maryland’s highest court.

Nevertheless, this is a major victory for Maryland, and for equal rights advocates nationwide. And I’m personally thrilled because I think of Maryland as my second home. I met my partner in Baltimore, and we lived there for many years before moving to Madison.

I couldn’t say it better than Delegate Doyle Niemann (D-Prince George’s County) says here: "We should encourage committed relationships, not discourage them. We should let people live in peace and freedom, not force them into the dark corners of a closet. The fabric of our society does not get weaker if we pursue tolerance and understanding, it gets stronger.”


At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marriage Amendment is bad for seniors, single parents.

The recent motorist beating in Milwaukee, and the dispute that ended with shots fired at
the Southridge Mall were carried out by teenagers from single-parent households. Look at
their backgrounds. They do not come from two parent homes. It illustrates our big
problem in Wisconsin.

The number of single-parent households is increasing, shooting off the charts, literally
and figuratively. The children get half the parenting, they need and little supervision they
need to become productive adults because there is only one parent trying to do the job of
two. It is producing very dangerous minors loose on our streets and shopping malls.
The proposed Marriage Amendment will only aggravate the problem. It does not increase
the number of two parent family units. It does just the opposite. It reduces them. The
result is failing schools, families, jails, and near anarchy.

The lack of a two parent family unit is the fundamental problem we have in our society
and costs the tax payers plenty. We are putting half parented children on the streets. They
are neither completely orphaned kids because they do have one parent. This 'half parent'
kid falls through the cracks. Call him a Norphan, neither a complete orphan nor a fully
parented child. One of his parents is always missing, gone, not in the picture at all and the
other parent is absent several hours a day and this kid is left on his own, a part-time
orphan, not being supervised, or parented at all.

We are asking government to step in and be the missing parent in the single-parent
household by providing expensive government social programs. It does not work because
government is not designed to be a missing parent. To make matters worse the federal
government has just cut money from these social programs. Who pays for it? The senior
citizen tax payer does.

The tax burden falls the heaviest on the shoulders of the senior citizen property tax payer.
Old people, on fixed incomes are losing their homes. They can't pay the property taxes.
We have kicked one million people out of our state in the last twenty years. Old people
are becoming refugees. One million is the size of the city of Dallas, most of whom are
seniors. Imagine a city the size of Dallas moving out of the state. It means Twenty percent
of our population has gone. ( And taken $10 Billion dollars with them )

The Marriage Amendment is an anti-senior citizen proposal. It is no friend to old people
or young people. It does not allow two single parent mothers to form some kind of
partnership - whatever it is -. to solve the problem by creating a two parent family unit to
raise the kids properly. And the seniors bear the brunt.

That is why the senior citizens are getting chased out of their homes and the State. They
can not pay the high property taxes, for the schools, the jails, and the social programs, that
are not working. It seems people on Welfare can live here and senior citizen property
owners can not. Something is wrong with this picture. We have to change the way we are
doing things and stop perpetuating the single-parent syndrome, kids having kids, and
grandparents paying the bill.

The state legislature did not finance a bipartisan study on the consequences of the
Marriage Amendment. They held hearings but they did not finance a study. It should
have been the first step. It should have been done before they put the Marriage
Amendment on the November Ballot. And why was it not put on the April Ballot?

Many senior citizens will gladly pay for the study with public money. The Public
deserves to know. Until then you are not going to convince seniors to vote for their own
eviction notice come November 2006.

The Marriage Amendment is a bad proposal for seniors and others.

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that the amendment is bad for senior citizens and other tax payers. I also agree that the our system is failing because of lack of parenting. However, these are the same arguments that people use against same-sex households. They will say that it cannot be just two parents, that it must be the ideal mother and father. I have no idea why then, they are not making amendments about heterosexuals. It's obviously not homosexuals creating the problem of too many kids without parents.

Children deserve a loving household with enough guidence to raise them properly. If this means a mom and a dad, two dads, two moms, an aunt and uncle, or a mom and grandmother, then so be it. We need to develop a society that is interested in *helping* families, not tearing them apart.

As far as studies so, UCLA did a study and found that if the state of California legalized same-sex marriages, they would save an average of $25 million a year. This is largely due savings in social services and tourism revenue. Here's the link: http://www.aclu.org/getequal/ffm/section1/1c17fiscal.pdf

I would think that a political party that is supposedly built around the idea of being *fiscally* conservative would have done their homework on this before bending to political games and *religious* conservatives.

There was a Republican on the Ideas Network this morning that said that we need to take care of a $75 million deficit in health care for seniors.

It seems to me that if WI would benefit from allowing same-sex marriage in a similar way as CA, that if we legalize same-sex marriage in WI, we could use the savings to pay off our state debt in 3 or so years.

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Liza said...

The Maryland case has a Wisconsin connection!

Patrick Wojahn, one of the named plaintiffs, grew up in Green Bay and graduated from UW-Madison in 1997.


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