Mark sent me this article this morning, which alternately thrilled and horrified me. I love the idea of our little conservative catholic state recognizing gay marriages performed in other states; but I am horrified at the idea of a referendum on the issue. It is not up to the people of Maryland to decide what is best for other Marylanders. The legislature generally listens to constituents, hears testimony from experts and laypeople alike, and redrafts legislation based on testimony. On average, it takes three years to pass a bill.
Voters don't go through this process. They don't know that studies show that children raised by gay parents are not any worse off than children raised by straight parents. They don't know the horrifying state of Maryland estate taxes for gay couples. They don't understand family law and gay adoption and what not being able to be married can do to a couple. (I know these things; but I have spent 3 years in law school.) Voters, on a whole, as we have seen, have a very hard time figuring out where their personal opinion ends and somebody else's legal rights begin.
How do you feel about the referendum process when it comes to gay marriage? Is it an important way to make sure we make the right decision as a state? Or is it simply something that shouldn't be up for a vote?