News » National

Former Md. Lt. Gov. & Other Catholics Speak Out In Favor of Gay Marriage

Wednesday Aug 8, 2012

BALTIMORE - Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a former Maryland lieutenant governor and member of one of the nation's most well-known Catholic political families, has joined supporters of a Maryland law allowing same-sex marriage.

Townsend, the eldest child of Robert F. Kennedy, noted her famous uncle John F. Kennedy's emphasis on separation of church and state.

"All people, gay or straight, should have the opportunity to marry the person they love and raise the family that they want to raise," Townsend said.

Maryland residents will vote in November on the referendum allowing gay marriage. Maine, Minnesota and Washington also have ballot measures on same-sex marriage this year.

Townsend, author of "Failing America's Faithful: How Today's Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way," spoke at an event organized by Marylanders for Marriage Equality. The group recently raised $250,000 for their campaign. The Washington-based Human Rights campaign this week pledged to donate $1 million into the four states where voters will be considering gay marriage ballot measures, $250,000 in each state.

Townsend was joined by three Catholic parents of gay children, who also are expressing support for the law.

"I cannot understand how my gay son getting married to the person that he loves can do harm to anyone else's marriage," said Erma Durkin, of Glen Arm.

Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is Catholic, successfully pushed this year for same-sex marriage legislation, which passed on a close vote in the House of Delegates, which is led by House Speaker Michael Busch, who also is Catholic.

Opponents gathered more than the 55,736 signatures needed to put the measure on the ballot in November. The Maryland Catholic Conference, which advocates church policy before the Maryland General Assembly, opposes the law.

"While prominent politicians, deep-pocket donors and Hollywood starts try to influence Marylanders into believing that they aren't 'progressive' enough, the average citizen of Maryland has enough common sense to know that marriage cannot be redefined; that a child comes from both a mother and a father; that marriage is the building block of society' and that it is not discriminatory to reserve marriage for one man and one woman," the group said in a statement last month when the petition was certified.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


  • , 2012-08-08 22:41:52

    It is civil marriage. Anti-gay catholics should back off, as this has nothing to do with their church. Gay-supportive catholics are morally superior, anyways...

  • , 2012-08-09 01:44:34

    Why is marriage a religious issue anyway just because its mentioned in the Bible? Most people don’t even get married in churches any more any way.

  • gdhamf, 2012-08-09 05:10:42

    if that be the case then kindly explain to me how divorce does not sully the institute of marriage.

  • , 2012-08-09 16:48:45

    I too am CAtholic and gay. I also believe in the separation of church and state. The church enjoys being tax exempt, however, if they insist on entering politics it is my opinion that the tax exemption they enjoy so much could and probably should be denied

  • Wayne M., 2012-08-09 17:29:45

    Congratulations to Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and other Catholics (and members of other faiths) who stand up for equality and civil rights for all. Of course the Roman Catholic Church has the right to set rules concerning marriage for its own members. For example, they already do this by denying priests the right to marry although in state law, there is nothing banning a Catholic priest from marrying or requiring him to quit as a priest if he does. However, the Catholic church and any other religious group do not have and must not be granted the right to set these standards as the law for others outside their church community. As a Christian, I might add that opposition to marriage equality IS NOT SHARED by all Christian faiths.

  • nick, 2012-08-09 19:56:34

    My family and I are Catholic too. AND we support same-sex marriage 100%.

Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook