Sunday, February 27, 2011

Councilmember Will Campos on Marriage

For the record, Will Campos, Prince George’s County Council Member 2nd District, and although I am not here officially on behalf of Prince George’s County Government I am here as a representative with a large gay constituency in his district as well as in the County. For the sake of brevity because you do have a full day here ahead of you, I will read my testimony and not elaborate outside of what I have written.

I am here in support of HB 55 and 175, the Civil Marriage Protection Act, for two very simple but yet powerful reasons. You very well may have heard this argument before, but the fact is that this argument is made because it is one of the core fundamental values that sent us on the way to becoming the United States of America: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal…” The very words of our Declaration of Independence that our forefathers wrote in the preamble to later emphasize the inequality that they were experiencing at that time. The very document that set this country on it’s way to becoming a great independent nation in this world states, that because we are in fact created equal, then equal treatment is due.

Now, our forefathers certainly got the wording right, but I ask you, do you think the laws of the land then went on to exercise what they claimed was an evident truth? If your answer is “yes,” then there should not have been a need for the 15th and 19th amendments in regard to suffrage. If your answer is “yes,” then the decades leading up to the Civil Rights movement should only be remembered by the styles, the wars, and the music that impacted those generations. But if your answer is “no, our country, our governments did not exercise this fundamental value of equality,” why are we so sure that more than 200 years later since the writing of this document that “marriage” and government’s say on it are correct?

The fact is that we have not gotten it right. We have chosen to interpret what we believe is a “marriage” through the institution of faith, and not civil law and civil rights. The beauty of this country is that it has allowed us to implement this union between two loving humans both through the church and through the state all along, we however as a governing body have only chosen to accept one. Well, the second reason I ask you to support this bill is yet another basic fundamental value that makes this country so great, the separation of church and state.

We are seeing states in this Union finally recognizing this separation, allowing a gay couple to achieve that very thing that our nation was established on, equality, and through equal treatment the pursuit of happiness through marriage. Please, as my representatives to the great state of Maryland, I ask you to join the other parts of this country that have finally allowed this civil right to a group of people that have been marginalized unfairly. This has nothing to do with gay rights, this has everything to do with civil rights, and more importantly, human rights that our very makeup of these United States have called out as “self-evident” in attaining. Please pass this bill, thank you for your time.