The Marc Steiner Show

09/25/07 Gay Marriage

While there are always vociferous and vicious attacks against any gay rights legislation from some fundamentalist religious quarters, I think most Americans and most Marylanders are perplexed and don’t know what we should do.  Many, if not most, heterosexuals in our nation grew up in Christian, Muslim or Jewish homes where marriage was between a man and woman.  Where homosexuality was over there somewhere…someone who was a little “light in the loafers”…some form of aberration, or a way of avoiding the draft.

I think many just have difficulty thinking about sex between two men or two women together.  The idea of same sex marriage is just too foreign for most people.
Do you think that is true?  Now, maybe we should just take religion out of civil ceremonies for marriage.  I mean if Valerie and I were to marry at City Hall, it would not be called a civil union, but being married through a civil ceremony.  So, the idea of civil unions, I think, is just a strategy to make same sex marriage more palatable for the rest of us.

What do you think it would do to the fabric of society if gays and lesbians were allowed to be married in civil ceremonies?  You can’t force a religion to perform marriages that they deem inappropriate, that violates their tenants. Many churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples will not perform marriages between people of different faiths; others may not even perform marriages that cross racial or ethnic lines or when someone is divorced. It is their right.

If our state and nation allowed same sex marriage, no one could force a religious group to marry them or sanction them.  Of course, there are a minority of religious institutions that would marry gays and lesbians.  That is their right, also.

Gays and lesbians are our neighbors, our co-workers, our brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, best friends, acquaintances and cousins.  They have children of their own, or through surrogates and adoption.  They serve in the military and in all branches of public services.  They defend us in court, serve our dinner, perform surgeries on our bodies, build our homes and are part of every facet of life.

Is their right to marry not a human right? A civil right? What would happen to us as a nation if they had the right to a civil marriage with all its protections?  What has happened in Quebec, Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Holland, Spain and South Africa where same sex couples are allowed to marry?

What are your thoughts?

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Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday thru Friday from 10AM to Noon on WEAA 88.9 FM. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Call us at 410.319.8888 or email us to participate live in the show, or share your comments on our site! Aren’t in Baltimore but want to listen? Stream the show live.


  1. I believe that society has never allowed homosexuality not only out of religious beliefs, but because of the damage caused to society. Procreation is obviously the number one reason. Number two is the confusion it causes children. You can’t tell me that a child who is told they can grow up to be heterosexual OR homosexual is not going to be affected. We limit choices to children and society as a whole for the good of the entire society I am not afraid of homosexuality, but I can not, and will not condone it. condone i

  2. It makes me really angry when some people portray this “debate” as religion vs. gay people. While some faiths do not perform marriages between people of the same sex, other faiths do. For example, the caller today who described a legal battle with his deceased partner’s parents, they were married in a Quaker church. Other faiths such as Reform Judaism also perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. It is incorrect to paint this as a battle between gay people and religious institutions.

  3. I think it speaks volumes that the two delegates on today’s show had no idea about what domestic partnership benefits are available in Baltimore City versus the State of Marlyand. It will be a long haul for little headway in the legislature.

  4. It is critically important that everyone who believes our GLBT brothers and sisters should have the same legal rights as the rest of us speak out and affirm our solidarity with the GLBT community. Denying anyone equal legal protections and benefits is bigotry and discrimination – let’s be clear about that please. If the rights of one group are denied, the rights of all of us are denied. Most politicans, especially in the MD State Legislature, will not have the political courage to get out front on this issue and possibly offend their religious voters. Any politician who values career and votes over doing what is moral and right does not deserve to hold office. It’s not enough to say you support civil marriage, you must be visible in that support and work for its passage here in Maryland.

    It’s not a surprise to me that Martin O’Malley made the pathetic statement he did upon the court’s decision – he campaigned on a promise to “stop” the BGE rate hikes, took $80K from BGE/Constellation and has done nothing since his election. So his “support” for gay marriage lasts only as long as he sees political expediency in it. Now that he’s governor and on his way (most probably) to a position in a new Democratic administration in 2009, he doesn’t have to support gay marriage to win elections. Sad but so true.

    And finally to the Court of Appeals – Shame on You!!

  5. While I support same sex marriage I believe that using the approach that it is a civil or human right to gain ground in the fight to change legislation has many pit falls that will ultimately prevent judicial review.

    From a perspective of law, civil rights have always been about equality for those discriminated against due to an aspect of their life that was out of their control- one is born with their race, or as a woman. If someone is prevented from voting they are invisible. Or if one feels their safety is in jeopardy because of social intoloerance for their inborn traits, there is cause to seek how to prevent their civil & human rights from being violated.

    There is no legal right to become married. Is there? The married are given tax breaks on property & income. We are provided better insurance plans if pursued as a family instead of individuals. But where is the law that says these practices are mandatory? The inequality here really lies with awarding or elevating the establishment of American families versus the individual.

    What are the advocates of same sex marriage really trying to accomplish? Are they seeking recognition as a minority that need legal clarification to protect human & civil rights that they already possess as Americans? Are they wanting special insurance & tax breaks that only married couples are given? If so these are different problems with different remedies that will be turned down again & again if argued using the civil rights argument.

    Perhaps what is needed is pressure on the insurance companies to include domestic partnerships as a viable “coupling” for the purpose of insuring health & property. And pressure to change tax law to allow multiple homeowners to qualify for the same breaks as married couples. These seem much more viable to me.

  6. you dismissed the comment of the lady who called with the issue of gays and sex with animal ect., however this is a taboo shared by many people arround the world, that homosexuals are somehow perverted people just seeking sexual pleasures. These could be one of the reasons people, specially church going people do not accept the concept of gay marriges. Education is needed for people to understand that gays are as you said, loving people.
    a listener.

  7. Celia Lynch wrote, “Procreation is obviously the number one reason [for marriage]. Number two is the confusion it causes children. You can’t tell me that a child who is told they can grow up to be heterosexual OR homosexual is not going to be affected. We limit choices to children and society as a whole for the good of the entire society I am not afraid of homosexuality, but I can not, and will not condone it.”

    The conflation of marriage with procreation really bothers me. There are many people who enter into marriage not wanting children or not being able to have children– senior citizens, infertile couples. We do not deny these people the right to marry just because they are not able to reproduce. People get married because they want to make a public declaration of their commitment to each other, for emotional reasons as well as to obtain the many benefits that come with marriage. Children may or may not be involved.

    Furthermore, many gay couples DO have children (big deal that they didn’t actually make the children with just each other), and their inability to participate in marriage hurts those families as well.

  8. I welcome the inclusion of any loving couple to the legal institution of marriage. I believe that when members of the GLBT community (and I will be glad when we don’t have to reference a specific community, but we will all be one community) are able to marry, it will only strengthen the institution of marriage. We need more love in this world, not less.

    On religion – it’s not that it’s a fight between religion and gays but rather that some religions are being used to deny some human beings the same rights that others have. There are religions and many people of different religious beliefs who believe gay marriage is the right thing to do. The yardstick I use when looking at how religion affects this issue is – is the position a particular church/pastor, etc. takes promoting love, dignity, respect and human unity or is it promoting divisiveness and hatred? And, again, as the guests on Marc’s show made clear today – no one is interested in telling any church or religion that they have to marry gays. This is a legal, equal protection under the law issue. If I, as a married straight woman, enjoy certain legal benefits and protections, then no one should be denied them on the basis of who and how they love.

  9. I am continually amazed at the religious/ Christian people who state that their Bible says marriage is only between one man and one woman. Most of the patriarchs had many wives. Moslem men still may have 4 wives.
    So why is One man and One woman the only way.
    If they are going say everyone must follow every piece of their Bible, they should, too..
    I forget all the things in Levitacious[sp] that they do not choose to follow, things like a man taking his brother’s widow as [another] wife, or offering up the burned ox as a
    sacrifice. It goes on and on.
    If they can pick and choose, so can I.
    And the idea of procreation as the only basis for marriage, leaves out some many as mentioned by Stu.
    France, I am told, does have a Civil marriage with a religious one if they choose.

  10. As someone mentioned on today’s show, this issue will eventually pass from the realm of the hotly contentious to just another historical footnote as our children become adults and their views of homosexuality as a normal part of the human spectrum become commonplace. I keenly look forward to this but in the meantime, we, the adults of today, must clash and clash again until the inevitable resolution is achieved.

    And inevitable it is. The interests resisting same sex unions are losing ground everywhere. Their arguments are sounding more forced. Law and logic are against them. The Maryland representative who voiced the opinion that “it’s against what it says in the Good Book” let more of the cat of its threadbare bag than most of the {ahem} defenders of marriage usually do. This is a matter of State law, sir, not Biblical law. As an elected official, the only Good Book to which you must accord your respect is our State Constitution.

    — Mark

  11. Why on earth are we discussing gay marriage? Any two people who want to make a lifelong committment ought to be allowed to do so legally. No religious organization has to recognize it, but legally, it ought to be a no-brainer. Gays are people. People have rights. Period.

  12. It always stymies me that many in our society discuss and cluck tongues and even condemn two people of the same gender who – gasp – dare to LOVE one another, while supporting and championing others who want to kill, maim, bomb and continue wars in the rest of the world. Killing is okay, love is not? What has gone wrong in our society.

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