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Carroll Commissioners Respond to Senate Passage of Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Commissioner Shoemaker is “looking forward” to signing a petition against the measure.

The Maryland State Senate passed same-sex marriage, 25-22, Thursday night, less than a week after the House of Delegates passed the identical bill. Gov. Martin O'Malley supports same-sex marriage legislation and is expected to sign the bill.

Carroll County government officials were vocal in opposing the bill, with Commissioner Haven Shoemaker (R-District 2) already planning for the next step. 

"I'm looking forward to signing a petition to put this to referendum," Shoemaker said. 

Earlier this month, Carroll County Commissioner Robin Frazier (R-District 1) announced the board’s proclamation designating Feb. 7-14 as “marriage week” and recognizing marriage as an institution that “binds men and women together in a network of mutual aid and mutual obligation,” according to the document signed by the five commissioners.

Carroll County delegates and senators followed a similar pattern, with all but one state senator voting against the bill. 

How the House of Delegate voted last week: 

  • Donald Elliott, R, District 4, Against
  • Sue Krebs, R, District 9, Against
  • Justin Ready, R, District 5, Against
  • Nancy Stocksdale, R, District 5, Against

How the Maryland State Senate voted Thursday: 

  • David Brinkley, R, 4, Against
  • Joseph Getty, R, 5, Against
  • Allan Kittleman, R, 9, For

Frazier wrote in an e-mail to Patch on Friday that she is firm in her belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman. 

"The Same Sex Marriage Bill is not about rights and lack of rights, it is about right and wrong," Frazier said. "Homosexuals have all the same rights as any cohabiting couple, they just cannot be married, because marriage is an institution created by God."

"God and the U.S. Congress define marriage as being between one man and one woman."

Frazier, who attended the rally against the bill in Annapolis earlier this month, said she disagrees with the way state government handled the bill. 

"Mrs. (Katie) O’Malley was right," Frazier wrote referring to the wife of Gov. Martin O'Malley. "Many folks that voted against the Same Sex Marriage Bill were cowards, they fear God, and the fear of the Lord, by the way, is the beginning of wisdom."

"We need some new, bold and wise representation in Annapolis and in DC."  

Nicoline Smits February 27, 2012 at 03:27 PM
The "Civil Marriage Protection Act" is about *civil* marriage, which is a state institution. This should be evident to anyone who has ever gotten married, because you get the marriage license not from your church or your pastor or the pope or whatever religious authority you can think of, but at the county courthouse, which is a *state* institution. It should therefore be blind to differences of race, color or gender, just as Carroll County commissioners serve *all* the people of Carroll County and not just those who agree with them. It is beyond the pale for elected officials to take such a partisan stand on so a matter of civil rights.
Barry Harris February 27, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Is she really so clueless as to say that we have all the same rights as heterosexual couples except that we can't get married. I lost my partner in 1995 and if not for a stack of contracts, legal agreements , etc. that we had to do individually, at our expense I wouldn't have. Even with that, I stood the chance of having these agreement contested and had to paid inheritance taxes on OUR home. We had NONE of the protections afforded heterosexual couples without dealing with lawyers, paying extra taxes and praying that his family would not go after me for "his" possessions. I was fortunate to have the support of his mother who remains one of my closest friends/relatives. As has been stated over and over again, this is about civil marriage and has nothing to do with the church. It seems to me that the old argument of "special rights" means that heterosexuals are receiving these "special rights" just for being born straight. It is time that all people be given equal rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. If Ms. Frazier doesn't want to participate in our marriages then this bill gives her an out in that both she and her church do not have to perform or recognize them. I find it interesting that Republicans want smaller, less involved government but, nationwide, are busy trying to legislate who can and cannot get married and write discrimination INTO the constitution. Hypocrisy at it finest. Shouldn't they also be attacking Atheists, Agnostics, etc. as well as us?
Lynette Connelly February 27, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I am so sad to hear that our Commissioners are so fully misinformed. Please, from the beginning of time marriage has been about property and wealth inheritance, not about religion. Is marriage a sacrement within religious institutions, yes, but it continues to be a social institution, existing in many societies, even ones without religious institutions. It's also, sad that Ms. Frazier continues to use her public position to taut her religious beliefs and that is UnAmerican. Folks like her keep trying to say that equality exists, by saying Gay folks are entitled to separate but equal rights...We know how "separate but equal" turned out in our history! Unconstitutional and unamerican behavior on the part of the commissioners within their meetings, praying: using "my savior" in their prayers, is highly objectionable and these folks need to get in line. Carroll County residents, there are less of you, that believe this is okay, really need an education. Carroll County is changing and yes, the "Good Ole Boys'" season is coming to an end.
Thom Ballantine February 27, 2012 at 05:31 PM
What more can be said? It is now time for action. We need to present, promote and support canidates for election who truely know the difference between what are civil rights and religious preferences. I am proud that I am a member of a faith community, St. Paul's United Church of Christ, where I know that God loves us all and that I can proclaim my love of a spouse in marriage before God and my community without any concern of what my sexual orientation may be. If it is required that the State must recognize that union, so be it, but others who's faith tradition does not understand the true love of God and the message of Jesus the Christ, have no civil right to deny anyone the same civil right they demand. For these people I pray that the truth of Christ will one day enter their hearts and enlighten their minds.
Lori Hollander February 27, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Robin, The "Civil Marriage Protection Act," NOT "the Same Sex Marriage Bill," certainly is about rights - the right of two people who love each other to be legally and emotionally united in front of their families and friends, in a CIVIL ceremony. Your beliefs about God are NOT the views and beliefs of all the constituents that you serve. There are many churches and synagogues that will perform religious marriages for same-sex couples, so who is right and wrong - your God or their God. You believe Religious Marriage is an institution created by God. I respect your beliefs. But you are not as a legislator supposed to IMPOSE your religious beliefs on your constituents, who are of many different beliefs - Unitarians, Jews, Atheists, etc. Marriage is not just a religious institution. It is also also something that is granted civilly by our government. All the Civil Marriage Protection Act does is give same-sex couples the right to get a CIVIL marriage. We do not live in a theocracy. With all due respect, please keep your religion to yourself.

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