Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jesse Jackson Urges Marylanders to Support Marriage Equality // Civil Rights Leader & Reverend Urges Vote FOR Question 6


Reverend Jesse Jackson
JESSE JACKSON ENDORSES MARYLAND MARRIAGE EQUALITY: The Huffington Post today reported that the Reverend Jesse Jackson is urging Maryland voters to vote for Question 6 this November. In a radio interview during last week's Democratic National Convention, Jackson called marriage equality "basic civil rights" (excerpt below):
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....

“The culture has had to expand,” Jackson said.... "You know, you have a right not to agree with interracial marriage but no one should be denied rights under the law....”

“If you don’t believe in it, don’t engage in it. But don’t deny other people their basic civil rights.”

GET READY FOR MISLEADING ADS FROM CIVIL RIGHTS OPPONENTS: Meanwhile, Maryland marriage equality advocates are beginning to sound the warning bells about misleading and divisive scare tactics from the haters. A couple weeks ago The Baltimore Sun published an editorial condemning the tactics of the so-called Maryland Marriage Alliance, the main group promoting an anti-civil rights agenda on the ballot this November (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: didn't take long for opponents to drag out the same specious attacks they have used to great effect in other states where gay marriage has been on the ballot. Within hours of the release of the ballot language, Derek McCoy, the executive director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, the group that spearheaded the petition drive to put the law on the ballot, had telegraphed the arguments that we are likely to hear much more of in the months ahead. "Maryland parents who send their children to public schools are immediately asking how does this affect what is taught in schools," he said in a statement. "Business owners have a right to know if their personal opinions about same-sex marriage will find them in violation of the law."

Neither question has anything to do with the matter at hand, but since he asked, here are the answers: "Not at all" and "No...."

The opponents are resorting to spurious arguments to convince voters that the law will somehow be unfair to those with objections to gay marriages because they don't want to face the real question of fairness at stake....

All it does is to remove a major vestige of discrimination from state law, and that is something all Marylanders should be able to support.

CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP ANTICIPATES DECEPTIVE TACTICS IN MARYLAND: Marylanders for Marriage Equality today released a memo to the media titled "What to watch for." The press statement details the misleading attacks civil rights supporters anticipate in the Free State (excerpt below):
MARYLANDERS FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY: This memo outlines the playbook that marriage equality opponents have used since 2008. Frank Schubert, political director of the National Organization for Marriage, has used these tactics to inundate voters with deceptive ads and sound bytes. The misinformation, race baiting and negativity have worked to great effect in states like California and Maine. Marylanders should brace themselves for what is about to hit our state....

Strategy 1: Exploit race
NOM is a national extremist group that funds a significant part of the Maryland Marriage Alliance - this according to MMA’s own web site (before their early September re-design) and based on financial disclosure reports....

The link between the national and statewide group is significant because of NOM’s national strategy - used in a number of states - to defeat marriage for gay and lesbian couples. That strategy as outlined in its 2009  internal memos is to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks…"

Strategy 2: Convince voters gay marriage will be taught in schools if it’s legal

In TV ads, direct mail, and mainstream media, NOM had pushed this message in other states where marriage has been up for debate, including California, Maine, and New York. And it's already happening here. Last month, Rev. McCoy issued a statement warning that “Maryland parents who send their children to public schools are immediately asking how does this [same-sex marriage] affect what is taught in schools.”

The answer is it doesn’t.... In Maryland, a school’s specific curriculum is decided by local school districts. Teachers and parents decide what is taught in the classroom, and no state law – including the marriage question on the November ballot – changes that (see MD Edu. Code Ann. § 4-111).

Strategy 3: Make voters think they’re being duped

Following the release of ballot language that calls for civil marriage licenses for gay and lesbian people and protects religious freedom, the Maryland Marriage Alliance called the language a “ploy” and urged voters to be “inherently suspicious.” The Maryland Catholic Conference reacted similarly.
Explicit in both the law signed by Governor O’Malley in March and in the ballot language are important provisions stating that religious institutions are exempt from having to marry anyone they don’t want to....

EXAMPLE OF A DECEPTIVE ANTI-CIVIL RIGHTS AD FROM CALIFORNIA'S PROP 8 CAMPAIGN: If you want to see a classic example of misleading scare tactics from civil rights opponents, watch the ad below, where they shamelessly use children to deceive voters:

More on the campaign for Maryland marriage equality soon!

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