Same-Sex Marriage Battle Intensifies In Maryland

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There’s an emotional new debate over the future of same-sex marriage in Maryland. It’s an issue dividing the state and now the battle intensifies as it shifts to the House of Delegates.

Derek Valcourt spoke with people on both sides of the fight.

Although Southwest Baltimore couple, Heather Moyer and Amy Sems, had a wedding ceremony in Massachusetts eight years ago, they’re now hoping Maryland’s House of Delegates follows in the path of the Senate which voted to approve same-sex marriage. Then their relationship can be legally recognized in the state of Maryland.

“It just would be nice to have that, to be viewed as equal, to have the same rights and viewed the same under the law,” said Moyer.

But opponents of same-sex marriage say they haven’t given up yet.

“We kept our powder dry for the big battle on the House floor,” said Delegate Emmett Burns.

Burns and many of his Republican counterparts promise to lobby fellow delegates to defeat the bill. They are hoping to stop Maryland from joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C. as places where same-sex marriage is legal.

But if they fail to stop it in Annapolis, they’re confident that voters will stop it at the polls. Opponents promising to submit the more than 55,000 signatures they’ll need to get a referendum on the ballot in November 2012.

“California is the most liberal state in the nation. It did not pass there and if it did not pass there I don’t think it will pass in Maryland. Maryland is not nearly as liberal as California,” said Burns.

Same-sex marriage advocates worry opponents would use the referendum to begin a campaign of what they see as intentionally misleading information. But gay and lesbian couples like Moyer and Sems believe history will be on their side.

“It’s time for this. It’s time, and I would love to see Maryland take the lead on this and I think we can do it,” said Moyer.

The committee could vote on Tuesday.

More from Derek Valcourt


  • jimmy

    What’s the big deal, let gay people get married. There is nothing to prove that it’s going to destroy marriage. everyone needs to get over this stupid argument and let everyone be happy.

    Marriage for all!!!!!

    • Denise H McGhee

      It is a big deal because it is sacred to many people and has and is part of many religions which oppose same sex marriage. It is wrong for Christians to be spouting hate, yet don’t group all Christains as the same. I think God is not happy with those who talk hate. I am Christian and I do oppose same sex marriage as it is against what is written in the Bible. Yet it is also written that God loves everyone so I don’t hate anyone. I do feel everyone should be entitled to state and federal benefits regardless of a marriage or same sex union. Please don’t confuse someone stating their beliefs as hate.

      • Greg

        Shouldn’t you be out protesting divorce then? Why is it okay to exit a marriage that is supposed to be till death do us part? Does a gay couple having a marriage infringe on yours in any manner? No they want to be happy and celebrate their love just like anyone else, and to have it recognized by the state in the same manor. It isn’t just a religious standing anymore I is also political.

      • walter

        I agree with you totally denise, I myself am a Christian and dont practice hate because it is forbidden by THE WORD of GOD. But this bill does make me angry. God said ” Be angry but sin not” .As for greg,The Bible says clearly that GOD does not want anyone to divorce but Moses Gave the right to put away a spouse for certain reasons because of the hardness of peoples hearts.Marriage today is too disposable.People marry too quick and for all the wrong reasons. marriage is Blessed by GOD only when it is performed out of Love and devotion. What most christians fail to recognize is that all this was fortold already in the Scriptures and it will and must come to pass even if some of us dont like to see it. It was said to happy in the last days that men will become lovers of men as was in the time of Lot. Either way what ever the house decides its in GODS control and will be what HE wants it to be. I see it as one more step closer to the second coming of Christ. Scripture being fullfilled. But non the less when it happens it will be a sad day. I lived with a woman for 13 years devoted to each other and we didnt have the rights that the gays have already.Sad Sad Sad. There is just no respect for GOD or His laws anymore.No prayer in schools,no prayer day anymore,no pledge of allegance, and people wonder why GOD doesnt bless this country anymore and our troops dont have the desire and pride to defend it like they used to.

    • Charles Johnson

      You are right. . .Nothing can destroy marriage. GOD made it perfect. But people can and do destroy themselves by the wrong choices, wrong actions, and simple ignorance. . .

  • Daniel

    Why is there so much hatred and lies about gay people. What are these people so scared of. They call them selves Christians, but I tell you they are NOT Christians with all that hatred that comes out of their mouths. It’s pure evil talk and lies.

    Gay people have rights and should be treated equal. God made them and he has a plan, who is to judge what he has created. No one!!!

    • Denise H McGhee

      Hi Daniel,

      I think all people should have the same rights. I also am a Christian and I don’t hate gays. You are right God made all of us. I think it is all symantics. I think if there was another word than marriage we all could get along. Marriage is between a man and a woman and society knows that term forever that way. To have two men or two women unite needs another word, but whatever ALL of us are equal and deserve the same rights.

      • Greg

        So needing another name to get the same results. Isn’t that like segregation? You can go to the same place but whites through this door and blacks through that one. That isn’t equal, it wasn’t for race, and it isn’t for marriage. If you believe they should have every right regardless of their sexual orientation then they should be able to have it called the same thing as well.

    • Charles Johnson

      I beg to differ. . .GOD made People. . .Males and Females. . .People adopt “GAY” behavior and actions, behaviors and practices. GOD created male and female.; Human Beings who do not always make the best of choices.

      • look out a woman with an opinion

        I beg to differ with your statement as well. God made many living animals some of which are male and female, others are asexual and can reproduce with themselves, and then there are the transexual creatures he created such as a clown fish for example a male can turn itself to a female. So god created all life forms and they are built with certain abilities and differences just like people. The human brain houses many different emotions and reactions and no one not a book, teacher, priest, etc can tell it how to function or what hormones are released from it.

      • Walter

        Un believable LOL now people are comparing themselves to fish and other animals. God gave man dominion over every beast in the field and the sea. I think someone needs to go back and read the book of Genesis again . A clown fish????? come on lady , REALLY??? I think you got the CLOWN part right LOL

    • walter

      God has already judge us all including gays,if you would just pick up the bible and read it you would see. And you are 100 percent correct,most of the people you reffer to are not Christians. They are band wagon people. Even The WORD of GOD says many will say they are Christian but are, ” many will say Lord Lord havent I done much in your name and Jesus will say go away I know you not” But that dont justify what is being done to the sacred bond of marriage between Man and Women. Hate no one and Pray for your enemies. Giving someone rights to do wrong dont make it right my friend. But in that last day they will have to answer for their deeds. We will have to give account for every idle word out of our mouth. Becareful what you say people.You may forget what was said but GOD doesnt

      • Gay For God

        Go back to school and get an education. I am a gay woman and proud of it. Please I beg you, if you are married with children, which of course you are since your a so called christian bible thumper(humper) DON’T have children! Obviously you are too ignorant to figure out how to use spellcheck so figuring out how to use a condom properly might be a bit of a challange. Please please read and comprehend the instructions on the condom box for the sake of the human race. wow!

  • Charles Johnson

    More Than Some Republicans And Some Christians Have Gone On Record Opposing This Legislation. Why Is The Phrase Delegate Burns And His Republican Counterparts Used In The Above Article.

    This Is More Than A Political Issue. . .It Is A Moral Issue. . .Marriage Laws And Definitions Are Under The Pressure Of Change Simply Because Of Sexual Choices And People Lack Of Discretion In Keeping Their Sexual Practices Private.

  • Kevin R.

    Most of the sodomys (ys’) and (sexuals) are frowned upon by our creator as an abomination under most religeons. A man having more than 1 wife, 1 woman having more than 1 husband, either attempting to marrying or (be) with an animal or any other (act) is sodomy PERIOD . Anybody wanting to change such afaithful and long standing law such as DOMA is walking behind an anarchist agenda……..PERIOD! .

  • cole

    mariage is like a contract that should allow everybody to get a chance to sign it. gay or straight.

    • Walter

      Marriage is not a contract,it is a gift from GOD as stated in the Book of genesis . Man made the contract in order to make a loop hole to get out of it. Did Adam and Eve sign a contrct??? I dont think so. Only time that came into play was in the days of Moses when he allowed ( not GOD ) man to sign a contract to devorce his spouse. So why are we calling marriage a contract? Marriage is two people in love and devoted to one another till death do they part. No amount of paper and force them to do that. Marriage is a gift and a committment not a signed contract.

      • Greg

        Walter, I can see where you are coming from ( a Christian point of view) and your views reflect that which is good and true. However this is not just a religious debate. Their love is already viewed by God and recognized, otherwise it could not be love. A large part of this is political same sex couple should be able to have all of the rights as every other couple, visitation at hospital benefits etc. They want the state to recognize their commitment to each other, not necessarily the church. This is separation of church and state, the state requires a marriage license (contract) that is different from a church issued marriage license. The church license is up to the specific church they would request it from, the state license should be available to them with all of the rights it comes with. the bible doesn’t have a say in the state side of things so quoting it has no real relevance in this argument.

  • Ronald G Miner Jr

    I’m just waiting for them to pass a law allowing multiple wives (and husbands). How can they now justify keeping it illegal? I want more then one…MAKE IT LEGAL NOW!

    • Jason

      The first instance of polygamy/bigamy in the Bible was that of Lamech in Genesis 4:19: “Lamech married two women.” Several prominent men in the Old Testament were polygamists. Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others all had multiple wives. In 2 Samuel 12:8, God, speaking through the prophet Nathan, said that if David’s wives and concubines were not enough, He would have given David even more. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (essentially wives of a lower status), according to 1 Kings 11:3.

  • John

    I have a hard time agreeing with people opposed to gay marriage. If your argument is that the bible says marriage is between a man and woman, where in the bible does it say that man and woman can get a divorce if it doesn’t go so well? Right now, 50% of marriages in America result in divorce. That’s not in the Bible, yet you’re not opposed to that. If people are this worked up over gay marriage, why aren’t they this worked up to get a repeal of the divorce laws in this country simply because it’s not in the Bible.

    In addition, allowing gay people to marry has no impact on your ability to marry, divorce and marry as many people as you choose if you are straight. Will your marriage become any less important to you or less significant if gays are allowed to marry? If so, what does that say about your marriage anyway?

    Like all religions, you’re allowed to practice what you wish. I have a problem when people want to impose that religion on others. Even if you want to state as fact, that the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman, what if a gay person doesn’t prescribe to your religious beliefs? Why should your beliefs prevent someone from doing something else that doesn’t affect you.

    To be honest, the fact that states issue “marriage certificates” to begin with is a major violation of separation of church and state. Everyone who gets “married” should be issued a “civil union certificate”. The act of naming it “marriage” is religious in nature and should be between you and your God, not you and the state.

    As a heterosexual married man, I hope that this law goes into effect as I do not want laws infringing on my civil liberties. Who is to say, that one day, someone says that one of the ten commandments is “thou shalt not kill” and uses that as justification that I shouldn’t own a gun? Sounds far fetched, but infringing on others civil liberties sets a precedent that you might not like down the road.

    • Walter

      John the Bible said that Moses allowed man because of the hardness of his heart to put away his wife but that it was not what God wanted. So once again it is man doing the wrong thing not according to God which is what is being debated now. What man wants and not what GOD wants.I believe the closest GOD ever came to making a mistake was to give man freedom to choose. Power is a dangerous thing
      Matthew 5:31,32
      Mark 10:1-12

  • Sean S

    State sanctioned sodomy. Just wonderful. I hate how gays just jumped on and took advantage of Black peoples’ Civil Rights Movement. Your war is not our war! Get off of our movement!

    • Geoff

      do you hate how women did the same thing? required the right to vote and equality, it isn’t color of skin, sex, or sexual orientation that makes these things different, its is peoples (such as yours) bigotry that tries to make them into a separate issue. They aren’t it’s all about equality.

  • americanprick

    Fudgepackers & crack sniffers, what’s the difference they both suck, ……Literally!

  • JIM


  • michael

    Everyone needs to realize that there is a division of Church and State for a reason.
    Not everyone believes in the Bible that you are quoting from, so it is not relevant to everyone in this debate. Human rights are not just for those who believe they are Christian, but for every living person on the Earth.
    This is a matter of applying a law of equity not preaching a sermon on Sunday!!!

  • Baptista

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, as well as the content!

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