Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
LifeNews: A Florida-based abortion practitioner was caught, earlier this year, running an illegal late-term abortion business in Maryland. Now, state officials have shut it down.
NY Times: No state has ever legalized same-sex marriage through a referendum—an invaluable fact for marriage-equality opponents, who argue that judges and lawmakers have imposed a radical redefinition of a traditional institution on an unwilling population.
Baltimore Sun: Dempsey said the invitation-only event is free of charge, and she expects about 200 people. “Our campaign is not about raising millions and millions from Hollywood and Madison Avenue,” she said. Derek McCoy, the head of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, is also co-hosting the event.
Doug Mainwaring at the Washington Post: Supporters of same-sex marriage in Maryland assert that both momentum and history are on their side. But these are assertions, not facts. In recent months, a development in the debate leading up to the November referendum on the issue has challenged these claims in a surprising way:
Guardian: Four states have ballot measures on gay marriage this election, and polling suggests handsome wins in at least three . . .
Jason Papanikolas Letter to the Baltimore Sun: Same-sex marriage is supported by a wide and varied group of Republicans from former First Lady Laura Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Ambassador John Bolton. In fact, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, a former resident of Prince George’s County, reminds us that “(a)s Republicans, we are committed to ensuring that the … government play(s) its proper role. Defining marriage is not part of that role.”
Washington Post: Supporters of same-sex marriage in Maryland are touting the support of Bob Ross, the president of the Prince George’s County branch of the NAACP.
Gazette.net: A complaint filed by an atheist group asking for the removal of Bladensburg’s Peace Cross — a longtime community fixture dedicated to Prince George’s County veterans — has stoked debate and opposition from officials and residents across the county.
DelMarVa Now: Gay rights activists, religious leaders and politicians are gearing up for two months of campaigning on the Maryland referendum to strike down same-sex marriage legislation that passed in March.
Julian Bond at Afro.com: Let’s face it: Marriage for gay and lesbian couples is often perceived as a White issue. Yet, there are thousands of African Americans – our brothers and sisters, cousins, neighbors, and co-workers – who are gay, in committed relationships, and want to marry. My own cousin had to go to Canada to marry the man he loved. So it’s probably time the country started talking about the issue in more diverse terms- and time the African-American community started, well, talking about it.
Huffington Post: The Rev. Jackson Jackson is urging Maryland voters to vote in favor of a ballot measure this fall that would give marriage equality to gays and lesbians in the state. Governor Martin O’Malley signed a marriage equality bill, passed by the legislature, but the voters will decide in November. (Listen to the interview below)
Capital Gazette: Gay rights activists, religious leaders and politicians are gearing up for two months of campaigning on the Maryland referendum to strike down the same-sex marriage legislation that passed in March.
Washington Post: A week after Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) sparked a massive controversy with his comments regarding abortion and “legitimate rape,” Democrats are stepping up their efforts to tie Akin to his Republican colleagues — including Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.
Washington Post: A long list of top-flight celebrities are headlining a fundraiser planned in New York next month to benefit the campaign for same-sex marriage in Maryland.
NY Times: Derek McCoy, the director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, which opposes same-sex marriage, said: “I think what we’re going to prove here is marriage is on the table, and marriage does matter. And because it does matter, Marylanders are engaged.”
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Matt Bowman regarding Thursday’s decision by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to review a three-judge panel’s decision in Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County and Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore.
Bloomberg: The full U.S. Appeals Court in Richmond, Virginia, agreed to rehear a case involving a law that requires anti-abortion pregnancy centers to post an advisory encouraging their clients to consult with medical professionals. The court set Dec. 6 for oral arguments in the rehearing, accepting a request by Montgomery County, Maryland, to review a split decision by a three-judge panel.
Baltimore Sun: But if this incident leads to a protracted debate about how groups like the FRC should be labeled, it presents a risk for marriage equality advocates nonetheless. “Hate group” is a loaded term, and FRC’s designation as such has provided an opening for social conservatives to complain that gay rights groups are the ones who are intolerant.
Christian Post: Organized by the National Black Church Initiative, the vigil will take place in Baltimore on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The Rev. Anthony Evans, president of NBCI, told The Christian Post that this vigil was the first of many to be held throughout the state leading up to the November election.
Monica Johnson at Examiner.com: The Washington Blade has published the names and addresses of those who signed the petition to have the same-sex marriage law put to a referendum vote this November 6th. The database was obtained by the Maryland Board of elections. Petitions are a matter of public record, but that does not mean that the lists should be published.
Doug Mainwaring and Stella Morabito at the Washington Examiner: This is clearly the case today as the shroud of political correctness suppresses open debate and aligns with the manipulation of polling numbers to push forward a perception of plausibility for a most implausible idea: same-sex marriage.
Examiner.com: The Frederick News-Post reported Sunday that a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Frederick, Maryland, was the target of vandals who glued gay marriage stickers and other items to the windows sometime Saturday night.
Richard Vatz at Baltimore Sun: They shouldn’t get too excited just yet. Gay marriage is an issue in which polls don’t necessarily reflect what voters will actually do at the ballot box because it is increasingly politically incorrect to oppose such nuptials. And there is particular reason to doubt the accuracy of this poll. For the record, I do not oppose same-sex marriage, but I do oppose the use of unsound polling data for political purposes.
The Atlantic: The pro-gay-marriage side currently leads in the latest polls of the ballot measures in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. Here’s a breakdown of where things stand on the question of whether gay marriage should be legalized in each state . . .
Frank Bruni at the NY Times: A new poll of Maryland voters, who will get to decide in November whether to overrule recently signed legislation establishing same-sex marriage in the state, shows that 54 percent favor the law, while 40 percent oppose it. These findings, by Hart Research Associates, will be released publicly later today; The Times was given an advance look at them.
Washington Post: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) really wants a deal to open a sixth casino in his state. So much so that he plans to unveil a draft bill for legislators to eyeball on Friday. His goal is to get it approved in a special session. And if that happens, then Maryland voters get the final say at the ballot box in November. It’s this prospect that has proponents of the state’s marriage-equality law very nervous.
(AP) KGWN.tv: Part Karl Rove and part Pat Robertson, Schubert is managing four statewide campaigns where the issue is on the ballot in the fall – in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. He’s trying to preserve a winning streak in which conservatives have put anti-gay marriage laws on the books in 32 states in the last decade.
LifeNews: Local pro-life advocates have caught late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart engaging in illegal dumping at the Maryland-based abortion facility that employs him. Formal complaints have been filed against Carhart and the abortion clinic after an investigation by pro-life activists uncovered the illegal dumping of biohazardous waste, private patient medical information, and dangerous drugs.
Center for Reproductive Rights Petitions Full 4th Cir for Hearing on Advertising Rule for Crisis Pregnancy Centers
The Center for Reproductive Rights and the City of Baltimore filed a petition for a new hearing today before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in their case defending a truth-in-advertising ordinance requiring crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to post modest signs in their waiting rooms indicating that they do not provide or make referrals for abortion or comprehensive birth control services.
Washington Post: “I have determined that final certification … is warranted at this time,” State Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone said in a letter to Derek McCoy, executive director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance.
Religion Clause Blog: In R.W. v. Spinelli, (MD FL, June 14, 2012), a Florida federal district court denied a sheriff’s motion to dismiss an official capacity suit against him under 42 USC Sec. 1983 by a woman alleging privacy and equal protection violations.
The court held that the disclaimer required by Ordinance 09-252 is “a form of compelled speech” that “alters the course of a [pregnancy] center’s communication with a client or prospective client about abortion and birth-control” and “is based, at least in part, on disagreement with the viewpoint of the speaker.” The court entered a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the ordinance. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
FoxBaltimore.com: Derek McCoy, executive director of Maryland Marriage Alliance, said Monday the group is turning in 39,743 more signatures. That’s on top of 113,000 already submitted.
“Washington County, MD to Grant Health Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses of Employees Married Out of State”
Lambda Legal: Today, Lambda Legal announced that, beginning in July, Washington County will extend spousal benefits to all eligible county employees married to a same-sex spouse. The County’s decision comes on the heels of a complaint filed by Lambda Legal . . .
Baltimore Sun: “We’re moving forward to a country where we treat everybody fairly and everybody equally, with dignity and respect,” Obama said according to a transcript of the speech. “And here in Maryland, thanks to the leadership of committed citizens and Governor O’Malley, you have a chance to reaffirm that principle in the voting booth in November. It’s the right thing to do.”
Seattle Times: In November, voters in Washington, Maine and Maryland will go to the polls to decide whether same-sex marriage should be legal in their state — providing a glimpse into the extend to which Americans’ attitudes around this issue have softened in recent years.
Washington Post: As of late Thursday afternoon, 70,039 signatures had been validated by local elections officials, exceeding the 55,736 required to put the measure on the ballot, according to an ongoing “unofficial” tally on the Maryland State Board of Elections Web site.
Washington Post: A referendum on Maryland lawmakers’ decision to legalize same-sex marriage moved from the realm of the likely to a near certainty on Tuesday as opponents turned in what they said were over 113,000 signatures — more than twice the number needed to qualify the law for the November ballot.
Baltimore Sun: Activists working to repeal Maryland’s same-sex marriage law scored a major victory this afternoon, submitting 113,000 signatures on behalf of a November referendum — far exceeding the 55,736 required to put the issue on the ballot.
Penna Dexter at Baptist Press: This means that regardless of the referendum outcome in November, Maryland at least will recognize same-sex “marriages” from other states. Advocates of same sex “marriage” see this as a way to get the legal camel’s nose under the tent.
Frank O’Keefe at the Baltimore Sun: Is marriage in fact a “civil right”? Most people would probably say yes. Is the re-definition of traditional marriage warranted in order to preserve the “civil rights” of same sex couples? There are still many, many people in America who will answer no to this question, and they have in fact done so in many previous state referendums. And the reason that they will continue to say no is not because they are all bigoted against gays and lesbians but because many sincerely believe that biological procreation was designed the way it is for a specific reason. And that reason is to preserve the primary continuity of the natural family and its role in the formation of society and as a foundational principle in societal development and the natural evolution of personal identity.
Baltimore Sun: A number of Harford County churches and religious leaders are leading the local fight to revoke Maryland’s new same-sex marriage law before it can go into effect.
AP: Benjamin Jealous said Monday he hopes the group’s resolution supporting same-sex marriage will encourage blacks to support marriage equality as a civil right if the question is put to voters on the ballot in Maryland or other states.
PFOX: After PFOX distributed ex-gay flyers to high school students as part of the schools’ flyer distribution program for non-profit organizations, Superintendent Starr publicly denigrated PFOX and former homosexuals by calling the actions of PFOX “reprehensible and deplorable” and labeling the flyer’s sexual orientation content as “a really, really disgusting message.”
Baltimore Sun: A Carroll County commissioner has emailed an invitation to about 850 government employees to attend a monthly prayer session, which she will lead, raising concern among some residents and watchdog groups.
CBS: Just days after PresidentBarack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, pastors and priests around Maryland took to their own pulpits with their reaction– and in some cases– condemnation of the president.
Washington Post: On one side of the river, there’s an aggressive, ambitious attorney general of the state’s dominant political party who aspires to be governor. On the other side, there’s, well, exactly the same thing.
Washington Post: The Maryland Marriage Alliance announced that it has gathered more than 30,000 signatures as part of an ongoing petition drive. If 55,736 valid signatures of Maryland voters are presented before the end of June, the new law will appear on the statewide ballot.
WILJA.com (ADF materials shown in video): ”Preventing” same sex marriage from being legalized in Maryland, despite the Governor’s signature, is the goal for a group that held closed- door meetings all across the state Wednesday evening.
Diana Schaub at the Baltimore Sun: Population increase is a natural sign of political health. By that measure, Baltimore has been sick a long time. Six straight decades of depopulation have reduced the city by a third. Seeking not only to halt this bad case of “the dreaded shrinks” but reverse it, the mayor has set the modest goal of increasing the city’s population by 22,000 people in 10 years.
Robert L. Ehrlich at the Baltimore Sun: A likely result: a coalition of Catholics, African-Americans, Hispanics and conservatives from both sides of the aisle send the measure to a decisive defeat. (Such a result would make Maryland the 32nd state to defeat a gay marriage referendum.)
Washington Post: Marylanders for Marriage Equality announced Wednesday that it has tapped veteran political strategist Josh Levin to manage its efforts heading into November.
Findlaw (AP): Maryland’s highest court is poised to hear arguments in a precedent-setting case involving two women who married in California but were denied a divorce in Maryland, a state that does not currently allow same-sex weddings.
The Hill: With 75 percent of precincts reporting, Romney led with 48 percent of the vote. Chief rival Rick Santorum was next with 30 percent of the vote, while Newt Gingrich trailed with 11 percent and Ron Paul garnered 10 percent.
Washington Post: . . . the poll by the independent firm OpinionWorks found that 43 percent of registered voters would vote to make same-sex marriage illegal, while 40 percent would vote to make it legal.
Report from oral argument in Fourth Circuit appeals of First Amendment wins by pregnancy resource centers in Maryland
WalshsLaw: A Fourth Circuit panel consisting of Judge Niemeyer, Judge King, and Judge Agee heard oral arguments yesterday in two First Amendment challenges brought by pregnancy resource centers in Maryland. I attended both arguments. From the content and tenor of the proceedings, it seems very likely that the court will affirm the two district courts whose rulings were at issue, both of which held that ordinances compelling speech by pregnancy resource centers violate the First Amendment.
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys will be available for media interviews following oral argument at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in a lawsuit involving a Montgomery County law that forces pro-life pregnancy counselors to advise women against using their services.
Washington Post (AP): Maryland’s same-sex marriage debate may end up being decided in the voting booth, but Gov. Martin O’Malley told a conference on Catholicism and homosexuality Friday that he believes voters will come down on the side of human dignity.
AP: . . . Bishop William E. Lori comes from the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn . . .
LifeNews: The Maryland Board of Physicians has refused to allow abortionist Nicola Irene Riley to surrender her Maryland medical license “on several occasions” in order to avoid discipline for her part in Steven Chase Brigham’s illegal late-term abortion scheme, according to the liberal, pro-abortion blog, the Daily Kos.
Harry R. Jackson, Jr. at Townhall: The largely white religious right is literally becoming a melting pot of diversity as far as this marriage issue is concerned. Huge numbers of blacks and Hispanics of faith are starting to feel that there is a “not so subtle” media attack on the nation’s most fundamental institutions. They realize that many movies and TV sitcoms have gone out of their way to express support of “so called” gay rights.
Washington Post: Opponents of same-sex marriage on Wednesday announced the launch of a widely expected petition drive, vowing to derail Maryland’s new gay nuptials law at the ballot box in November.
Sacramento Bee (AP): It’s an election subplot sure to stir up heated emotions – even beyond the confines of North Carolina, Minnesota, Maryland, Maine and Washington.
Baltimore Sun: The Maryland State Police have agreed to pay a $385,000 settlement to 17 anti-abortion protesters arrested by Maryland State Troopers four years ago in Harford County . . . Members of the Alliance Defense Fund, a group founded 14 years ago with the stated mission of safeguarding Christian beliefs, were arrested while protesting in and around the town of Bel Air in August 2008. [Alert Editor Note: ADF is not a membership based organization.]
Washington Post: The Senate Judicial Proceedings committee heard testimony this week on a bill that would prohibit discrimination in public accommodations, housing and employment based on “gender identity,” which would take its place alongside race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation and disability.
Baltimore Sun: “The way forward is always found through greater respect for the equal rights of all,” said O’Malley, giving brief remarks before signing the legislation. “If there is a thread that unites all of our work here together, it is the thread of human dignity. … Let’s sign the bill.”
Family Research Council Washington Update: First they were “cowards.” Now, suddenly, “they are bigots and haters–they who stood tall against discrimination, who marched and sat in, who knew better than most the pain of being told they were less than others. They are black men, successful ministers, leaders of their community… who have stood on the front line of the campaign against same-sex marriage,” the Washington Post explains.
AP on Google: With Maryland poised to legalize gay marriage, some conservative opponents and religious leaders are counting on members of their congregations, especially in black churches, to upend the legislation at the polls this fall.
Peter Sprigg: Censoring the ex-homosexual message: Montgomery County schools deny help for those wanting to go straight
Peter Sprigg at the Washington Times: Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr called it “reprehensible,” “deplorable” and “disgusting.” . . . Perhaps the flier triggered anger because it calls into question a widespread myth – that people are “born gay.”
Baltimore Sun: Though Gov. Martin O’Malley hasn’t even inked his freshly passed law legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland, a group of faith leaders has already filed paperwork to start a petition drive aimed at repealing it.