Dear Friends of Marriage,
"Only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid in this state."
Who would have thought it would take 55 pages for Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler to explain what these 14 words mean?
In a lengthy opinion released yesterday, Attorney General Gansler unilaterally interpreted Maryland law to permit same-sex marriages in Maryland -- so long as the wedding takes place in Washington, DC, or Massachusetts, or somewhere else where same-sex marriage is valid.
One might be inclined to think that if same-sex marriages aren't "valid" in Maryland, government agencies ought not treat them as valid. And that's precisely what Mr. Gansler's predecessor concluded six years ago in a formal opinion issued on the same question.
But even though state law specifically declares same-sex marriages invalid, Mr. Gansler concluded that there was no strong policy against same-sex marriage in Maryland. In support of this extraordinary conclusion, Attorney General Gansler cited the legislature's failure to adopt additional prohibitions against same-sex marriage -- prohibitions that the former attorney general had argued were unnecessary.
And it doesn't stop there. Yesterday's opinion specifically encourages the governor and state agencies to adopt appropriate regulations to implement this new view of Maryland policy -- effectively shifting the burden of proof to those who would challenge the recognition of this new policy.
So how do we respond when the Attorney General refuses to recognize the plain language of Maryland law?
The Attorney General doesn't make law. He doesn't enforce it. And he doesn't offer any binding interpretation. He was elected to defend the law, not change it. Attorney General Gansler has overstepped his bounds, unilaterally rewriting Maryland law on marriage.
The legislature clearly defined marriage once. But some people refuse to listen. It's time do it again, and to give voters a chance to be heard.
We need to contact our state legislators to press for a constitutional amendment on marriage that would go to the voters to settle this question once and for all.
Please use this link to send your state senator and representative an email today! Tell them we've had enough of politicians messing with marriage: Pass a constitutional amendment on marriage and let the people of Maryland have the final say.
But I need you to do one more thing as well.
Please forward this message to at least 5 friends today!
The only way to put a stop to politicians messing with marriage is to organize, creating a massive groundswell of opposition to same-sex marriage that politicians can't ignore. We need voters in every legislative district in the state to contact their legislators, telling them it's time to protect marriage.
As you know, NOM is active all across the nation, working to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it. We've recently seen how effective grassroots organization can make the difference for marriage in states like New York, New Jersey and Maine. Would you consider a one-time gift of $35, $50, or even $100 to help protect marriage across the nation? Or perhaps you could better afford a monthly gift of $10, $25, or $50 as a sustaining partner of NOM. Either way, we promise that your dollar will have maximum impact - helping to win marriage in all 50 states!
Click here to make your secure online donation today!
This is not a solicitation for activities in Maryland.
National Organization for Marriage
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Princeton, NJ 08542
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