Marriage Equality Referendum: Religious Freedom Means Less Religion (and More)

Here are a few excerpts from the sermon I’ll deliver tomorrow morning at Beth Am.  All are welcome!  If you are interested in learning more about how to defeat the referendum in November, please visit Marylanders for Marriage Equality and sign the Pledge to Defend Maryland’s Civil Marriage Equality Law!

…[March 1 (the day Gov. O’Malley) signed the bill)] was a really good day, but we knew then as we know now that the fight for Marriage Equality is not over.  You see, as I speak, there are those gathering tens of thousands of signatures to petition the State of Maryland to include this issue on the November ballot.  They will almost certainly succeed and six months from now, we will all have the opportunity to uphold or strike down this monumental law.

…My concern today is not the church nor the synagogue but the role of religious people and institutions in shaping American law.  Ask yourselves, in the past weeks and months, how much of the political discourse reported on the news and in the papers, the chatter in internet blogs, revolves around religious ideologues and their views: of abortion, contraception and, yes, Marriage?  But take note, it is the establishment clause, America’s separation of church and state, that guarantees the sorts of protections we Jews and others have come to enjoy in this country. And I believe, wholeheartedly, that elections are a time for religious people to exercise not their desire, in hubris, to remake the country in their own image but their commitment to civil and religious freedom for all! 

…So if you support marriage equality because it reflects your religious beliefs, join the fight to uphold the law and defeat the referendum.  And if your religious beliefs or personal sensibilities say otherwise, join the fight to defeat the referendum as well!  Because you believe that each of us, no matter what we believe, no matter who we marry, is guaranteed the same protections under the same Constitution.