State Senator asked to uphold Constitution, not Bible

(via Snopes)

I just found this whole exchange a bit funny. In an attempt to impose their moral views on others, it seems some in politics are forgetting what they are supposed to be doing. Putting aside my personal opinion on the subject of same-gender marriages, I do expect that a right to marry will eventually be legally guaranteed for same-gender couples. If this indeed is the case, exchanges like the following between Nancy Jacobs, a state senator, and James Raskin, a professor of constitutional law, will eventually be looked back on with a bit of a chuckle, I’m guessing.

“As I read Biblical principles, marriage was intended, ordained and started by God — that is my belief,” [Jacobs] said. “For me, this is an issue solely based on religious principals.”

Raskin shot back that the Bible was also used to uphold now-outlawed statutes banning interracial marriage, and that the constitution should instead be lawmakers’ guiding principle.

“People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; they don’t put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible,” he said.

Some in the room applauded, which led committee chairman Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Democrat from Montgomery County, to call for order. “This isn’t a football game,” he said.

Read the whole article at Snopes for details on what set this off. Below is the start of the story, though, to at least show why this conversation occurred.

In February 2006, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdock ruled that a Maryland state law banning same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. In response to that decision, state lawmakers opposed to same-sex marriage introduced a resolution to impeach Judge Murdock (a move which was defeated in the Judiciary Committee) and a bill calling for the amendment of Maryland’s constitution to prohibit all same-sex marriages. Although the bill failed to garner sufficient support for passage, it was reintroduced in a version that would define marriage as a union between a man and a women only but would still allow for civil unions. The latter bill was being debated by a Senate committee on 1 March 2006, when, according to the Baltimore Sun, “Clergy, constitutional law experts and children of gay parents were among those who packed the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee room to speak out on the issue.”

[tags]Snopes, same-gender marriage[/tags]