HYATTSVILLE, MD – In a move that should not be viewed as surprising, two groups pushing against referenda this November have joined forces. Equality Maryland, the umbrella group supporting gay marriage and Casa de Mayland, Maryland’s largest group supporting in-state tuition for illegal aliens, have announced that they will be coordinating their efforts on both ballot measures.
LOS ANGELES – Despite attacks from the mainstream media and flooding in large portions of the East Coast, the documentary 2016: Obama’s America came out of nowhere to finish the weekend as the seventh best grossing movie. Ironically, the movie beat out the Meryl Streep’s latest movie, with the Obamaesque title of Hope Springs.
NEW YORK – As Marylanders were gathering signatures to force the state’s recently enacted gay marriage law onto November’s ballot, the mainstream media and the leftist blogosphere wanted us to believe that anti-gay groups from outside the state were running the show. Unlike the left, however, pro-family Marylanders didn’t have to pay people to gather signatures. Now that the battle to force the bill to referendum has been won, money from outside the Once Free State is pouring in to buy pro-gay marriage TV ads and to pay for mailings.
The latest example is $250 per person fundraiser to held next month in New York. Who are lending their names in the attempt? Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon and former first daughter Barbara Bush. Maryland governor and 2016 presidential wannabe Martin O’Malley will speak. (Marty needs a head start on tapping those glitterati wallets).
In addition to Ms. Bush, former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman is helping out as well. It seems that Republicans can have a “big tent”. Who was the last prominent Dem to cross the aisle on an issue that challenged leftist orthodoxy?
The world has certainly changed since I was in school. Growing up in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s I learned foolish things like words have meaning, truth isn’t relative, there are certain immutable laws, and that history is the study of things which occurred in the PAST.
Fast forward to the present. We have seen people and institutions decide that they can simply change the definition of words in order to justify their actions. We need look no further than the Episcopal Church, which gets around little things like the biblical definition of sin by simply pronouncing that “modern scholarship” has determined that certain behaviors are not really contrary to God’s Word; or that even if the Bible says that some activities are contrary to God’s Law, we have to put them into a “cultural context”.
Cultural relativism has blossomed to the point that there is no right or wrong. There is no truth. Instead the opinion of the majority, or of certain political or cultural elites, should take precedence over “facts” or principles which we have been held as true for hundreds or even thousands of years. The basic laws of economics cease to function simply because a politician says so. While we haven’t reached this point yet, I am waiting for some pronouncement that 2 + 2 ≠ 4!
Lately, we’ve seen some groups believe that they can re-write history. Sure, the interpretive revision of some “scholars” has been around for years. No, I’m talking about the belief that events or accomplishments can simply be erased from the collective consciousness. Ever read George Orwell’s 1984?
As a coach, Joe Paterno won more football games than anyone else in history. Yet, the NCAA believes that it can re-write history. By mere administrative fiat, Paterno’s wins can somehow be made to disappear because he may (or may not) have made an error in judgment which did not occur on the football field and had NOTHING to do with football.
Friday we were told that Lance Armstrong didn’t really win the Tour de France seven times. While I swear that I watched Armstrong win each of those titles on television, I must have been wrong. Perhaps a memo from Winston Smith’s colleagues at the Ministry of Truth will arrive in my inbox shortly.
The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) admits that it has no hard evidence that Armstrong cheated:
In June, USADA announced it had assembled 10 former Armstrong teammates who were willing to testify that Armstrong cheated, and it had also found tests results that were “fully consistent” with blood doping.
“Fully consistent” isn’t the same thing as scientific fact or “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”. The USADA has a history of bullying and threatening athletes into testifying. If it can be proven that Armstrong cheated at some point AFTER his Tour de France wins, that does not diminish his seven titles. If it is proven that Armstrong did something that is illegal now, but not then, that cannot negate his accomplishments. Or can it?
It appears that the NCAA and the USADA are but the latest soldiers in a war designed to irrevocably change our culture and our way of life. Words simply mean what we want them to. Knowledge, and morality, are simply relativistic constructs which change with the culture, or the wind. History is no longer prologue; it is a weapon to be used to address past wrongs … real or perceived. This begs the question – Who will decide who is wronged?
LONDON – On Wednesday, Sarah Attar became the first Saudi woman to compete in an Olympic track event. While the 19 year old finished last in her heat, the crowd in gave Attar enthusiastic applause as she crossed the finish line. You would think Attar’s achievement would garner wide media coverage in her home country. You would be wrong.
LOS ANGELES – Not to be outdone by a bunch of bigoted rubes (I guess all of us patronizing Chick-Fil-A yesterday fall into that category), the gay advocacy group GLAAD has announced that Friday will be “National Same-Sex Kiss Day” at Chick-Fil-A. According to the LA Times, “couples are encouraged to go one of the chicken restaurant’s locations and take a photo or video of themselves kissing”.
Don’t know about LA, but something tells me that this will be a HUGE hit here on Delmarva.
WASHINGTON, DC – As a child, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi prayed for religious liberty … in Hungary. As a member of Congress Pelosi supports stripping Roman Catholics and other pro-life Christians of their religious liberty.
BALTIMORE, MD – Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a group advocating for gay marriage in Maryland, has released a poll claiming that 57% of Marylanders now support same-sex marriage. The Baltimore Sun’s Annie Liskey explains the flaws in the poll’s methodology. The 57% represents Marylanders who “definitely” or “probably” support gay marriage.
WASHINGTON – First he was opposed to it. Then his views “were evolving”. Now, as he faces a tough re-election bid with defections from his liberal base, President Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage.
With an economy that shows lackluster growth at best, Obama can hardly afford low turnout from his base. Current polls show Obama trailing among independents, a group he carried strongly in 2008.
RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina became the 30th state to adopt a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Unofficial returns show that 58% of North Carolina voters supported the amendment.
WASHINGTON – After a seeming switch by Vice President Joe Biden and a “coming out” by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, renewed attention is being paid President Barack Obama’s “non-stance” on the issue of gay marriage. Obama claims that his personal views on the issue are “evolving”.
Obama campaign strategists are attempting to quash suggestions that this seeming “about face” by two high-ranking administration officials is not part of a coordinated, political strategy lay the groundwork for a change in Obama’s stated position.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement calling for civil disobedience regarding key provisions of ObamaCare. In Our First, Most Cherished Liberty the Bishops call on all Catholics, “in solidarity with our fellow citizens”, to refuse to obey this “unjust law”. The Bishops state:
“It cannot be obeyed and therefore one does not seek relief from it, but rather its repeal.”
They also state that they are willing to go to prison rather than obey an immoral law.
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Anticipating that Maryland’s same-sex marriage law will be forced to referendum, proponents of the bill are preparing to go to the mattresses. Marylanders for Marriage Equality (MME) has hired political operative Josh Levin to manage its campaign against the referendum.
In addition to announcing the hiring of Levin, MME also announced another poll claiming strong support for gay marriage in Maryland. All independent polls have shown Marylanders evenly split on the issue.
BALTIMORE, MD – The Baltimore Sun’s Annie Liskey reports that Marylanders continue to be split over the issue of gay marriage. In a new OpinionWorks poll, 43% oppose gay marriage while 40% support it. The poll has a 4% margin of error.
More interesting than the statewide number is some of the breakdowns:
- Fifty-eight percent of those who attend church once a week want same-sex marriage repealed
- Sixty-six percent of those who don’t attend church support same-sex marriage
- Baltimore city residents favor repeal of same-sex marriage with 49 percent opposing the law and 35 percent supporting it
- Montgomery County is the most friendly in the state to same-sex marriage with 58 percent supporting the law
- The Eastern Shore is the least supportive of same-sex marriage, with 72 percent wanting the law repealed
- Women are far more likely to support gay marriage than men; with 47 percent of females supporting the law and 33 percent of men supporting it.
The Baltimore city number is a good indicator of African-American sentiment on the issue. The Eastern Shore number is not unexpected.
MORNINGTON, Australia – An Australian schoolboy was suspended after he shaved his head to raise funds for a cancer charity and support a friend who is battling leukemia.
Going beyond a "number two" haircut was against the school’s uniform and grooming policy, said school principal Christopher Houlihan of Padua College in Mornington, about 25 miles southeast of Melbourne.
The Year Nine student received an internal suspension. He went back to school on Monday, but must wear a cap until his hair grows back, the Mornington Peninsula Leader reported.
"He took it on himself to shave his head for a very good cause, he didn’t go through school procedures and deal with us first," Houlihan said.
"I’ve always told students who wanted to support World’s Greatest Shave it was OK, as long as hair length was within acceptable levels — a number two. Then we can also then support them with publicity."
Every March thousands of people shave, color and wax their hair to raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation in what is one of Australia’s biggest fundraising events.
Melbourne radio station 3AW reported that the teenager’s act was in support of a friend who is battling leukemia.
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Gay marriage may have passed the General Assembly but it will still have to get past Maryland voters before it becomes law. In the meantime, what about gay couples married in other states? What happens when they live in Maryland and decide to divorce?
The Maryland Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments next month regarding a Maryland couple who were married in California but now wish to be divorced in Maryland. To add more fuel to the fire, and confusion, some same-sex couples are being granted divorces in some Maryland courts while other couples are being denied in others.
SACRAMENTO, CA – A new state-sanctioned questionnaire is asking California’s judges to disclose their sexual orientation. Critics of the survey argue that the data will be used to appoint more judges based on whether they are straight, gay, or transgendered.
Alongside questions about gender, race and ethnicity, the survey now asks whether judges identify as a man or a woman, and if they’re gay. Supporters applaud the new law, SB 182, known as the Judicial Applicant and Appointment Demographics Inclusion Act, calling it "essential in creating a more diverse judiciary."
Critics say the question, much like asking about religious preference and voting records, is immaterial to a judge’s qualifications and ability to weigh evidence. They say the survey amounts to an invasion of privacy, and a threat to fair rulings from the bench.
"This is an outrageous violation of the total concept of blind justice and equality for all," says Brad Dacus, president of the Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute.
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland governor Martin O’Mally signed the HB 438, legalizing same-sex marriage, into law Thursday. The law will not take effect until at least January 1, 2013.
On Wednesday the Maryland State Board of Elections approved petition language for a referendum petition to overturn the measure. If the petition sponsors are able to gather the required number of signatures (approximately 56,000) then voters will have the final word as to whether or not the new law takes effect.
READ MORE …
REFERENDUM TO FOLLOW
ANNAPOLIS, MD – By a vote of 25 – 22 the Maryland Senate passed HB 438, the Civil Marriage Protection Act. As of this post, a copy of the roll call is not available.
While Gov. Martin O’Malley will sign the bill into law, this measure was a cornerstone of the governor’s legislative package, the bill will not go into effect until the results of a referendum petition are determined. Del. Neil Parrot (R-2B) filed a referendum petition with the Maryland Board of Elections today. If the petition drive is successful, Maryland’s voters will determine whether or not the bill becomes law.
"We move on to the next phase," said Senate Republican leader E.J. Pipkin, who tried to defeat the bill. "There will be a robust referendum effort."
Annie Linskey of the Baltimore Sun points out that recent polls show Maryland voters evenly split on the issue. Whether or not the bill takes effect is far from certain.
Yesterday we reported that a cloture vote would take place. However, that vote never was called.
A VOTE FOR CLOTURE IS A VOTE FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Today the Maryland Senate takes up debate on SB 241 – the Civil Marriage Protection Act. The bill, which would permit same-sex marriage in Maryland, has already passed the House and is a part of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s legislative package.
Some members of the Senate appear to be trying to have their cake and eat it too. Knowing full well that their socially conservative constituents wouldn’t tolerate a vote for the bill, they will vote against it. However, before the bill can come to a final vote on the Senate floor it must win a cloture vote. Last year Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38) voted against the bill, but voted for cloture. He is expected to do the same this session.
O’Malley and the Senate leadership know that they have enough votes to pass the Senate. However, if the Democrat senators who voted against the bill last year vote against cloture then the bill cannot come to floor for a final vote. When the rubber hits the road, a vote for cloture IS a vote for gay marriage in Maryland.
A call to Mathias’ office yielded the comment that, “Sen. Mathias is opposed to SB 241.” When asked about the cloture vote we were told that, “The senator hasn’t made up his mind yet.” A vote on cloture is expected today.
Mathias isn’t the only Maryland senator who seems to think that he can buffalo constituents into believing that he’s opposed to O’Malley’s gay marriage bill. Others include:
|Sen. John C. Astle||(D-30)||410-841-3578|
|Sen. Joanne C. Benson||(D-24)||410-841-3148|
|Sen. Ulysses Currie||(D-25)||410-841-3127|
|Sen. James E. DeGrange, Sr.||(D-32)||410-841-3593|
|Sen. Roy P. Dyson||(D-29)||410-841-3673|
|Sen. Thomas M. Middleton||(D-28)||410-841-3616|
Mathias, who represents Worcester, Somerset, and the eastern half of Wicomico counties, can be reached at 410-841-3645.
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland governor Martin O’Malley believes that his bill to allow same-sex marriage will move forward this week, according to the Baltimore Sun’s Annie Linskey. O’Malley may be hopeful. Sources in the office of House Speaker Michael Busch (D-30) say there are no plans for a vote this week.
BALTIMORE, MD – Catherine O’Malley, wife of Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, was forced to apologize for calling Delegates who switched their vote on gay marriage “cowards”. Speaking Thursday at the Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality in Baltimore, Mrs. O’Malley was reported to say:
“…there were some cowards that prevented it from passing.”
In a statement issued Friday, Mrs. O’Malley stated:
“I regret my recent choice of words.”
One Delegate to whom Mrs. O’Malley’s remarks were directed is Del. Melvin L. Stukes (D-44). The Baltimore Democrat had originally been a co-sponsor of last year’s gay-marriage bill. After intense lobbying by African-American church leaders Stukes withdrew his name from the bill and voted against it. He claimed that he thought the bill had been for civil unions. Stukes will not support Gov. O’Malley’s same-sex marriage bill this year.
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Some members of the Maryland General Assembly are outraged by Gov. Martin O’Malley’s attempt to raise money for a gay marriage lobby from the very legislators charged with weighing the bills merits. Del. Mike Smigiel (R-36) has published a copy of O’Malley’s fundraising appeal for the group Marylanders for Marriage Equality.
Is the Governor raising political funds on the taxpayers’ dime and using state funded equipment to do so? This message was sent out on O’Malley’s Blackberry. Is the state paying for any part of this?
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has thrown his support behind a bill to make transgendered individuals a protected class in Maryland. Under the proposed bill transgendered individuals would be afforded the same protections against discrimination currently afforded to women, racial and ethnic minorities, and gays.
While O’Malley has voiced his support for the measure, it is not part of the governor’s legislative package.
In a related matter, O’Malley will host a breakfast today with leaders from the gay and religious communities to discuss his support of gay marriage.
SCOTTSDALE, AZ – In all likelihood you’ve never seen one in real life. A relative few of us have even seen a photograph. A few more may have an inkling by watching the 1988 Francis Coppola movie Tucker: A Man and His Dreams, starring Jeff Bridges. What am I talking about? The 1948 Tucker Torpedo.
At Saturday’s Barrett-Jackson auction, Mecca for car collectors, a Tucker stole the show by fetching $2.65 million (plus a 10% bidder’s fee).
SALISBURY, MD – The current nom de guerre for socially conservative voters is “Values Voters”. As Maryland’s First District is the most conservative district in Maryland (Maryland’s Sixth District was recently gerrymandered to allow for the election of a left of center candidate), values could play a significant role in November’s congressional elections.
Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) is know as a “conservative’s conservative”. Harris is strongly conservative on both fiscal and social issues. Two hot button social issues that are faced by any candidate for Congress are abortion and gay marriage. At a recent forum, the three Democrats running to challenge Harris spoke to several issues, including gay marriage. All three, Dr. John LaFerla of Chestertown, Kim Letke of White Marsh, and Wendy Rosen of Cockeysville agreed that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) should be repealed and that gay marriage should be legalized.
The question which will face whoever emerges from the Democrat primary is: Can a Democrat candidate sell a radical position on gay marriage to the voters of Maryland’s most conservative congressional district?
There are strong arguments, even among conservatives, that DOMA is unconstitutional. There are strong arguments in favor of civil unions for same-sex partners. However, even a state as liberal as Maryland has failed to legalize same-sex marriage.
There has even been a backlash against civil unions as a radical element within the gay community has chosen to push their agenda at the expense of possibly losing rights already gained. In a recent New Jersey case, a judge is attempting to force the United Methodist Church (a denomination heavily represented on the Eastern Shore) to allow a “civil union ceremony” on church property. Such an action would be contrary to both Christian and denominational doctrine.
Do those who which to unseat Harris honestly believe that they can sell a candidacy that is so far removed from the mainstream values of the First District?
GEORGETOWN, DE – While same-sex couples in New Castle County didn’t waste any time when Delaware’s civil union law became effective on January 1st, it too a few days before same-sex unions started taking place in Sussex County.
Clerk of the Peace George Parrish performed Sussex County’s first same-sex union this week at his office in Georgetown. The happy couple was Milton town councilwoman Mary Hudson and her partner, Lynn Ekelund.
Shortly after Parrish joined Hudson and Ekelund in a civil union, Terry Isner and his partner Adam Linder were joined in civil union at CAMP Rehoboth. That ceremony was performed by Tom White, a retired Evangelical Lutheran Church in America minister.
We rarely discuss sports here at the DelMarVa Observer. It’s a subject that we’re simply not equipped to handle and there are plenty of great sites out there that do a far better job than we could ever hope to do. That said, this is less about sport than a about a phenomenon – Tim Tebow.
Fans (including a few Denver fans) seem to want him to fail. The “experts” tell us that he’s simply not cut out to be a star quarterback in the NFL; he lacks the build and mechanics (so we’re told). He places his Christian faith above his job as a Denver Broncos quarterback. Worst of all, he has been quoted as saying “football is just a game”. Yet, there he is, week after week, leading his team to victory and to the top of their division in the AFC West.
This isn’t just about Tebow’s faith either. Many athletes acknowledge God, and thank him for their success. No, the Tebow phenomenon is about piety and devotion, and the slow, subtle impact that God has wrought through one of his servants – who just happens to be the starting QB for the Denver Broncos.
Tebow thanks God, win or lose. He states that God doesn’t really care who wins or loses. Tebow isn’t bashful about sharing his faith or his love for his fellow man. It is these traits that are having an impact. Sure, Tebow the victorious hero (or Tebow the goat when he does finally lose) will be the headline. But, the example that Tim Tebow is setting for America – young and old – is something that, we hope, will outlast the Monday morning headlines.
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Transvestites, transsexuals, and anyone else with a different “gender identity” are now part of a protected class in Howard County. The Howard County Council approved a bill Monday which bars:
discrimination based on gender identity and expression in housing, law enforcement, employment, public accommodations, financing, and health and social services.
The bill has been forwarded to County Executive Ken Ullman for his signature. Assuming that Ullman signs the legislation, which appears to be a foregone conclusion, the bill would take affect 61 days after his signature.
GEORGETOWN, DE – The group responsible for a lawsuit against the Sussex County Council has now asked for a preliminary injunction to prohibit the council from reciting the Lord’s Prayer before each meeting. Americans United for Separation of Church and State is seeking an injunction to stop the recitation of the prayer until after their lawsuit has been decided.
CONCORD, NH – While not typically considered a federal issue, the debate over same-sex marriage could become a top issue as GOP presidential candidates move towards January’s New Hampshire primary. The New Hampshire legislature is expected to debate a bill that would repeal the state’s same-sex marriage law in the same month that voters will vote in the nation’s first primary.
It is expected that second-tier candidates and social conservatives will attempt to make hay from this issue because of past inconsistencies from former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Texas governor Rick Perry and businessman Herman Cain.
I know that this is sacrilege to some, but …
It’s not about turkey. It’s not about football. It’s not even about spending time with family and friends.
ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us, and to all men; [*particularly to those who desire now to offer up their praises and thanksgivings for thy late mercies vouchsafed unto them.] We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen
- Book of Common Prayer, 1662.
We hope that you enjoy your dinner. We hope that your football team wins. We hope that you enjoy and appreciate the time spent with family and friends. But most of all we hope that you remember WHY we celebrate this day and give thanks to our Lord for all that He has provided.
BLACKSBURG, VA – The first openly gay elected official outside of Northern Virginia says that his sexual orientation isn’t an issue in serving as a member of the Blacksburg Town Council. Michael Sutphin, 27, identified himself as gay during the election in an interview on WUVT, Virginia Tech’s student-run radio station. However, he said that the issue didn’t come up in his campaigning in the community:
"I didn’t campaign on sexual orientation," Sutphin said. "I campaigned on economic development, regional cooperation, neighborhood issues and … smart growth."
But, Sutphin said, diversity is important for representative government. He pointed to the fact that the Blacksburg council now has more women than men, including Krisha Chachra, whose family immigrated to the U.S. from India.
photo courtesy of the Roanoke Times
GEORGETOWN, DE – George Parrish, Sussex County’s Clerk of the Peace, has announced that he will comply with Delaware’s civil union law which takes affect in January, 2012. Parrish, a Republican, actively campaigned against the civil union bill and is facing criticism for his announcement to comply with the law.
“I will comply with the law, and this is not a modification of my principles. It’s wrong if elected officials are not required to follow the law,” he said.
Parrish will not seek re-election in 2012; however he does not intend to resign.
Parish said the reason he’s not stepping down when the law goes into effect is to protect Sussex County voters. If he steps down, Gov. Jack Markell would appoint a replacement; Parish said he does not believe a Markell appointee would reflect the views of most Sussex voters.
“Markell will appoint someone who is liberal who supports civil unions and same-sex marriage because he’s been in the forefront of both issues. Proponents say 65 percent of people in Delaware approve of civil unions, but it’s nowhere near that level in Sussex County,” Parish said.
Parish is also convinced if Markell is elected he intends to sign same-sex marriage legislation. “I will continue to oppose same-sex marriage,” he said.