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FAITHFUL CATHOLICS APPLAUD MARYLAND SENATE VOTE

Catholic laypeople lead fight for fairness

 MOUNT RANIER, MD, February 24, 2011—The Equally Blessed coalition salutes the members of the Maryland State Senate who today passed legislation that will end centuries of discrimination against same-sex couples and their families. We urge the state’s House of Delegates to pass the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act and send it to Governor Martin O’Malley for his signature.

 Like most Catholics, we believe that allowing same-sex couples access to civil marriage is a matter of simple fairness. There are simply no credible arguments, religious or otherwise, that justify denying same-sex couples and their families the protections that civil marriage confers upon heterosexual couples.

 We are delighted that Maryland’s Catholics senators, like dozens of other Catholic politicians in legislatures and state houses across the country, recognize that our Church’s social teaching requires us to respect and defend the dignity of all of God’s children, and its moral teaching requires us to follow the dictates of our own well-formed consciences.

 Catholic bishops have been in the forefront of the movement to continue discrimination against same-sex couples and their families, but, increasingly, Catholic lay peopleare leading the fight for fairness.

 Equally Blessed is a coalition of faithful Catholics who support full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people both in the church and in civil society. Equally Blessed includes four organizations that have spent a combined 112 years working on behalf of LGBT people and their families:  Call to Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry.

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