C. Anthony Muse, a Democrat, represents Prince George’s County in the Maryland Senate and is also senior pastor of Safety Christian Church in Upper Marlboro. He writes in the Washington Post:
On Nov. 6, Maryland voters will decide the fate of a measure that not only redefines marriage but also presents a serious threat to the religious liberty of individuals and religious institutions.
Contrary to the claim made by Bishop V. Gene Robinson in his recent Post commentary [“Liberty and justice for all in Maryland,” On Faith, Oct. 13], supporters of traditional marriage in Maryland are by no means engaging in “intentional distortion of the truth.” Rather, hundreds of faith leaders and thousands of Maryland residents have raised sincere and grave concerns about Maryland’s Question 6. I share their concerns and urge the people of Maryland not to be fooled by what they read on the ballot.
... In a thinly veiled attempt to assuage concerns inevitably raised by the law, three-quarters of the ballot language is then devoted to a description of the measure’s supposed religious-freedom protections. Of course, clergy will not be forced to perform a marriage in violation of their religious beliefs; this basic protection exists in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as in the Maryland Constitution. But beyond that, the law contains no protection for the religious rights of individuals, and it does not protect religious organizations from a wide range of punitive actions by the government.