Matt Birk, center for the Baltimore Ravens, writes in the Baltimore Sun:
"On Nov. 6, Maryland voters will decide on whether to change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. The potential implications of this amendment for our society are profound. Same-sex marriage is a polarizing issue and, in some instances, has deteriorated into an "us against them" debate. We must respectfully consider all viewpoints, which evoke strong emotions from both sides, because we cannot afford to get this wrong. It should be less about who is right or wrong and more about what is best for our society today and going forward. Let us seek truth, not victory.
Before we talk about redefining it, let's talk about what marriage is and what it isn't. Marriage is an institution that predates our government, society and any religion. It legitimizes the only way to create, and the best way to raise, our next generation. Marriage originates from the unique relationship between a man and a woman, and their exclusive ability, grounded in nature, to conceive children and to nurture those children as a mother and a father. In short, marriage protects the source of life. Marriage is not simply something that validates the love that two people share for each other. It's much more than that.
Government has a vested interest in ensuring that our children, the next generation, are raised in the best way possible. Unfortunately, we all know that this isn't always achievable, but that doesn't mean that we give up and stop seeking the best. It means we try harder. We shouldn't dilute the institution of marriage by expanding its definition.
There are many studies that show a child's best chance for success in life is to be raised by both a mother and a father, but we don't need statistics or data to know this. Common sense tells us. We may not all be blessed with a mother and a father, but we know it nonetheless. We feel the void when one is missing. We know the roles of mothers and fathers are not interchangeable or genderless. Each brings something distinct yet complementary to the family unit. Mothers and fathers play with their kids differently, discipline differently and love differently. Children need and deserve a wholeness and completeness that comes from both a mom and a dad..."