Mount Rainier, MD In Support of Same-Sex Marriage

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Mount Rainier, MD, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Unknown

Source File: http://www.mountrainiermd.org/government/resolutions/resolution_no_21_2004.html

Text:

RESOLUTION NO. 21-2004
SUPPORTING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, EDUCATING, THE PUBLIC, AND CALLING UPON ALL PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ENTITIES TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO SAME-SEX MARRIAGES

WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier, Maryland, cherishes its numerous lesbian and gay residents and families and values the positive contribution they bring to our fair City; and

WHEREAS, marriage is recognized as one of the fundamental elements of individual liberty; and

WHEREAS, the opportunity to commit publicly and legally to share one’s life with a person of one’s choice is one of the most central aspects of human experience; and

WHEREAS, the denial of marriage to same-sex couples is a denial of their fundamental civil rights; and

WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier, Maryland, understands that marriage develops from a couple’s desire for love, security and family, and such desires are not confined to heterosexual couples; and

WHEREAS, same-sex marriage, as any other marriage, provides family stability, legal protections, and personal happiness to gay and lesbian couples, their children and extended families; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no laws will be made depriving any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no person within its jurisdiction will be denied the equal protection of the laws; and

WHEREAS, all Amendments to the Constitution of the United States heretofore either clarified or expanded the nation’s founding principles of equality, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and

WHEREAS, the equal protection provision of the Declaration of Rights of the Maryland Constitution flatly prohibits gender-based classifications and the basic principle of Maryland’s Equal Rights Amendment is that sex is not permissible factor in determining the legal rights of women, or men, so that the treatment of any person may not be based upon the circumstance that such person or their spouse is of one sex or the other; and

WHEREAS, the Freedom of Religion provision of the Declaration of Rights of the Maryland Constitution states that all persons are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty and that denying the validity of a same-sex religious commitment ceremony violates the same-sex couple’s freedom of religion rights; and

WHEREAS, the State of Maryland has not adopted a Defense of Marriage Act; and

WHEREAS, discriminatory laws stigmatize and significantly harm lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people by perpetuating homophobia and ignorance, just as anti-miscegenation laws barring people of different races from marrying perpetuated racism and social ostracism; and

WHEREAS, denying civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples deprives thousands of Marylanders of certain rights, privileges, immunities, protections, and responsibilities afforded to heterosexual couples; and

WHEREAS, discriminatory marriage laws undermine the United States’ and State of Maryland’s constitutional commitment to equality, privacy and justice for all of its citizens; and

WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier, Maryland, has by local practice, policy and ordinance shown its commitment to fair and equitable treatment of all and by affording equal rights and benefits to the numerous gay and lesbian couples residing in the City of Mount Rainier, has consistently been striving to set an example of excellence in the non-discriminatory treatment of all persons and the promotion of the ideal of diversity; and

WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier, Maryland, desires to educate its residents and the general public, as well as private and governmental entities on the value and legality of same-sex marriages; and

WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier, Maryland, finds any attempt to codify discrimination into the Constitution of the United States repugnant and anathema to the tradition of equality that we as a people hold dear; and

WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier, Maryland, opposes the President‘s proposal for a federal Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage because the Constitution of the United States is not an instrument of discrimination but our charter of guaranteed liberties; and

WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier, Maryland, finds that governmental oppression of any kind based on discrimination diminishes us as human beings and is un-American; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Rights of the Maryland Constitution were designed and written to protect the rights of the minority from the tyranny of the majority; and

WHEREAS, City of Mount Rainier, Maryland, calls upon the State of Maryland and its county governments to legalize same-sex marriages and to issue such marriage licenses; and

WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier, Maryland, calls upon public and private entities, particularly insurance companies and other benefit providers, to recognize same-sex marriages as lawful and desirable; and

WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier, Maryland, urges the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which violates the equal protection guarantee of the Constitution of the United States by restricting marriage to a union between a man and a woman, thereby, and also violates the full faith and credit clause by purporting to restrict states from recognizing lawful same-sex marriages and civil unions performed by sister states; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MAYOR COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MOUNT RANIER, MARYLAND, THAT, the concept of same-sex marriage is hereby supported both in public law and in private practice; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, THE CITY OF MOUNT RAINIER, MARYLAND, will give full recognition up to the limits of its legal authority to out-of-state and foreign same-sex marriages; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, THE CITY OF MOUNT RAINIER, MARYLAND, will direct its energies to a public campaign of education about equality in marriage; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, THE CITY OF MOUNT RAINIER, MARYLAND, supports, in principle, any legal challenge by lesbian and gay Marylanders to secure their equal rights to marry; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, THE CITY OF MOUNT RAINIER, MARYLAND, is hereby authorized and directed to transmit copies of this Resolution to federal, state, county and local officials and to the local press.

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