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September 28, 2012

Clint Eastwood Was Right!

Roy Meachum

You get a chance to follow Clint Eastwood’s words. On Election Day, November 6, the following will appear on your ballot.


Referendum Petition


Civil Marriage Protection Act (Ch. 2 of the 2012 Legislative Session)


Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.


First, you should understand the marriage law already exists; Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the measure April 1, 2012, passed by the Senate 25-22, and the House of Delegates approved 72-67. The enactment was delayed until January 1, because of the inevitable appeal: nearly 57,000 signatures were necessary. Opponents gathered double and counting.


The Roman Catholic Church staunchly opposes the concept, but not all the faithful agrees with the hierarchy. Member O’Malley is not alone. There have been pictures of various groups, including Catholics, fighting what they consider bigotry. The NCAAP agrees, officially at the national and state levels. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s picture appears in supporting literature for Referendum 6; she’s an African-American. Ravens Linebacker Brandon Ayanbadejo gave a party when a local politician attacked him for backing the concept; he is the son of a Nigerian father and Irish mother and was born in Chicago. Of course, there are voices that argue against the concept.


Laura Ingraham and I seldom agree; to cut aggravation I don’t listen to her, although she comes on a few minutes after my Friday movies’ dialogues with Bob Miller, on WFMD930AM. But she got it right when she said African Americans alone fight for civil rights. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders struggle for what they are entitled to under the U.S. Constitution.


Blacks are instantly stigmatized by their color. I’ve known people for years without realizing they’re not “straight,” the opposite of “queer.” Heterosexuals have a strong hold on language; it’s been thus always, it seems. When I was a young man in New Orleans, “fruits” was the name for gays; “butch” disparaged lesbians. Voting “for” Referendum 6 won’t stop the hurting words; it will make easier for the people who are their targets.


I turn to a better-known name on the political right than Ms. Ingraham’s. When he’s not debating with empty chairs that cannot debate back, Clint Eastwood thinks; he said: “Give everybody the chance to have the life they want.”


That’s right!


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