How Can a Majority Vote on the Civil Rights of a Minority?
A video blog by Justin B. Terry-Smith
February 28, 2012
After a long battle it was signed by the House and the Senate, and now Governor Martin O'Malley will sign gay marriage into law. Since Attorney General Doug Gansler of Maryland stated in 2010 that same-sex marriage will be recognized in the state, the LGBT community from my home state traveled to other states such as Massachusetts, New York, Washington D.C., etc., to get married just so they can travel back to Maryland so their marriage will be recognized. SO the day has FINALLY COME to Maryland. SAME-SEX MARRIAGE is now law in my hometown state of Maryland.
My husband and I got married in Provincetown Massachusetts on August 7th, 2009. When Gansler announced that Maryland would recognize same-sex marriage, the marriage between my husband and me was automatically recognized.
But now that same-sex marriage is legal in Maryland, opponents are trying to drum up 56,000 signatures so that the voters themselves can vote on same-sex marriage. Here is the main problem with that: A majority should never have the right to vote on a minority's civil right; that is unethical and unconstitutional.
When looking at polls about 71% of White and only 41% of Black Maryland voters support same-sex marriage. Why is that?
Well a lot of Black Marylanders think that there is no correlation between the Black Civil Rights Movement and the Gay Civil Rights Movement; I'm here to say there is. There are differences but there is a correlation to the point where you can say the majority of a population is oppressing the rights of a minority. Hasn't anyone heard of Bayard Rustin and his role in the Black Civil Rights Movement?
Also Baltimore County delegate Emmett Burns (D) was quoted as saying, "Gays and Lesbians have never been discriminated against like I have been discriminated against." Burns, himself a black Marylander, seems a little clueless to the fact that there are black gay people in his state, let alone his district.
WAIT A MINUTE ... I'm BLACK AND GAY. Mr. Burns I think that I've been discriminated against more than you have. By you making such a statement, you isolate and ostracize Gay Black people: DID YOU KNOW THAT?
If the referendum is stopped or if it goes through and Marylanders vote for same-sex marriage, my husband Dr. Philip B. Terry-Smith will have a private ceremony.
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Justin B. Terry-Smith, M.P.H., may be one of the most public African Americans living with HIV: He has his own website, and he's even on YouTube. He is a noted HIV and gay civil rights activist and the creator of "Justin's HIV Journal," a popular blog in which he shares his trials and tribulations of living with HIV. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Justin resides in Laurel, Maryland, with his husband, Dr. Philip Terry-Smith, and their son, Lundyn. Presently, Justin is working toward earning his doctorate in public health. He welcomes your questions.
(Photo credit: Don Harris)
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