Robert Nelson of Gaithersburg, MD, in a letter to the editor published by the Washington Post:
When I devoted an entire day to come to Annapolis and engage in a civil debate on the same-sex marriage bill on Feb. 8, I never envisioned receiving such an insensitive and denigrating response from any elected official as the one I received from Sen. James Brochin. Brochin mischaracterized everyone who spoke in opposition to the bill by saying, “witness after witness demonized homosexuals, vilified the gay community, and described gays and lesbians as pedophiles,” a quote The Post has now repeated in its Feb. 17 editorial, “Make Maryland a Free State.”
What I saw, however, were people from various walks of life showing compassion for the children of Maryland and defending the faith tradition of marriage that has built our society. I heard from people who have done extensive research in marriage make convincing arguments that the traditional family is the best environment for nurturing our next generation. I witnessed those in the African American community taking offense at the use of the term “civil rights” in reference to this bill, as they had endured severe oppression that gay men and lesbians have never experienced.
It is unfortunate that The Post has spread inflammatory rhetoric against opponents. This is serving to agitate many Maryland citizens who may already feel that their elected officials are not listening to them. In more than 30 states where there has been a vote on same-sex marriage, the people have consistently rejected it. These Maryland citizens are more than ready to sign a petition to get this issue on the ballot.