Delegate Don Dwyer of Anne Arundel County and co-sponsors have prefiled "Maryland's Marriage Protection Act" in preparation for the 2006 legislative session.
"Maryland's Marriage Protection Act" is a constitutional amendment that defines legal marriage in the state as between one man and one woman. The bill differs from last year's "Valid Marriages" bill in that it includes language that also prohibits recognition of civil unions.
In March of this year, public opposition to homosexual marriages reached its highest point in four years according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. When asked whether they thought same-sex marriages should be recognized by the law as valid with the same rights as traditional marriages, 68 percent of the respondents said no. ( Refer to "Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage Mounts" by United Press International, http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breaking/20050401-100130-7971r.htm )
Also, the Catholic Bishops of Maryland recently wrote a pastoral letter in support of the constitutional amendment. In it they state, "Maryland law acknowledges that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. But the law does not protect against activist judges who would overturn it, or against state legislators who would change it to give legal recognition to same-sex unions and endow such relationships with the status, rights and privileges of marriage. Faced with these developments, it is clear that the preservation of marriage as the union of one man and one woman requires legislation (perhaps even an amendment to our state's constitution) that provides the strongest possible support for marriage and families." The letter can be read in its entirety at http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=6700.
"The debate is over. It is time for the citizens of Maryland to join the citizens of more than a dozen other states across America and vote on this issue once and for all. It would be irresponsible for our politicians to stand in the way of this constitutional amendment" says Dwyer.