The Baltimore Sun published a detailed endorsement Tuesday of Question 6, Maryland’s referendum on marriage equality. Not only did the editorial board affirm that the law would “treat everyone the same” and protect religious freedom to not solemnize same-sex unions, but they took ample time to dispel opponents’ “scare tactics,” rebutting claims made about straight victims and kids learning about same-sex marriage. Instead, the Sun points out that marriage equality will benefit children and families:
As for Maryland’s children, this law only improves their welfare. Thousands of Maryland children are being raised by same-sex parents in this state already. Allowing their parents the chance to marry strengthens their families and provides them with crucial protections under the law. More fundamentally, it recognizes that their families are equal to everyone else’s.
The board also points out that out-of-state same-sex marriages are already recognized because of a recent court decision, so rejection Question 6 is pointless sacrifice of state income that helps nobody:
If that happens, Maryland will lose more than the money those couples would have spent here on cakes, photographers, caterers and florists. Some couples, no doubt, will return to Maryland to settle down, but others will surely decide to stay someplace where the law fully recognizes their value as members of the community.
Nothing short of marriage equality will accomplish that. Civil unions and domestic partnerships in some states have sought to afford gay families the same packages of rights and benefits as married couples — a difficult and usually incomplete task, given the number of laws that reference marriage in one way or another. But that approach creates two kinds of marriage — one for straight people and one for gay people — and that inevitably relegates same-sex couples to second-class citizenship.
Polls over the past few months (August 2, September 26, October 1, October 18) have all shown strong support for marriage equality, though a new poll this week shows a much tighter race. The Baltimore Sun has spelled out a very clear case for supporting the measure, but now it’s up to voters to ignore conservative fear-baiting and vote in the best interest of Maryland families.