Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– With the election just weeks away, the battle over same-sex marriage is heating up.
Derek Valcourt explains some national leaders opposing same-sex marriage came to Maryland to make their case.
Voters are getting an earful on this hotly contested issue in television ads and in their church pews.
In churches around Maryland, preachers are trying to get their faithful fired up. Baltimore’s New Harvest Ministries is no exception.
“We’re concerned that the union of marriage is protected as it is recorded in the Bible,” Bishop Marcus Johnson said.
Sunday, the church hosted what they called a Marriage Protection Rally with a small crowd, inviting some of the nation’s most vocal opponents of same-sex marriage — including Bishop Harry Jackson and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council — as they try to convince Marylanders to say no to Question 6.
“We’re talking about something that has happened for 6,000 years in all different cultures, all different worlds. And suddenly we’re changing it? I’m sorry I don’t accept that,” Bishop Angel Nunez of the Maryland Hispanic Pastors Association said.
“The truth of the matter is that it’s not an assault or attack on anybody’s way of life,” Ezekial Jackson of Marylanders for Marriage Equality said.
Same-sex marriage supporters say it is about fairness and equality, and they have their own coalition of vocal religious leaders who back them.
“We stand here as people of faith recognizing that we can be conscious citizens of the United States and practice our faith honestly and sincerely and still support Question 6,” Rev. Todd Yeary of Douglas Memorial Church said.
Both sides are already in the midst of a back and forth advertising battle.
“That’s what this is about: Protecting religious freedoms and protecting all Marylanders equally under the law,” an ad for same-sex marriage says.
“Everyone is entitled to love and respect, but no one is entitled to redefine marriage,” an ad against same-sex marriage says.
Increased ads and the fight for votes promises to continue until Election Day.
A recent Washington Post poll finds 52 percent of voters would support same-sex marriage while 43 percent oppose it. Opponents say those polls aren’t accurate because many people who are polled vote differently in the privacy of a voting booth.
If Question 6 passes, Maryland will become the first state in the country where voters approve same-sex marriage.