MARYLAND

Maryland's proposed same-sex marriage bill causes outcry

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A show-down in Maryland over the same-sex marriage debate led hundreds to rally against the high-profile bill that would legalize gay marriage.

On Tuesday, the bill will be in the spotlight at the State House.

The crowd was on fire because of a comment the governor's wife said last week, saying last years measure failed because "some cowards that prevented it from passing." Although she apologized, organizers used that statement as fodder Monday night.

Paula Dickins of Bowie was among the protestors against the bill.

"We're not here saying we hate a homosexual male or female, we love you, but we want to share with you the truth, the word of God," Dickins said.

She was part of the City of Praise congregation in Prince George's County, a 10,000 member church whose members came to the rally by the busload to oppose the measure.

Religious leaders here called same-sex marriage "reckless social experiment."

The language of the contentious debate has intensified leading up to the key Senate Committee Hearing tomorrow.

Also at issue is a new religious protection preventing pastors from performing same-sex unions.

Reverend John Crestwell with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis is in favor of same-sex marriage and says tolerance on both sides would go a long way.

"It's about people having the opportunity to fully participate in America and marriage is part of that,"Crestwell said. "I say what Dr. King says, that we can learn how to disagree without being violently disagreeable."

 

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