Maryland GOP state senator courageously gets behind marriage bill

In Maryland today, Republican State Senator Allan Kittleman voiced his support for a bill that would bring the freedom to marry to the state. Sen. Kittleman is the only Republican member of the Senate who has announced that he will vote for the bill. 
 
Kittleman cited his "firm belief in equal rights" as well as the example set by his late father, who was also a State Senator. "I was raised by a gentleman who joined with others in fighting racial discrimination in the 1950's and 1960's," Kittleman said in a statement. "Watching him fight for civil rights instilled in me the belief that everyone, regardless of race, sex, national origin or sexual orientation, is entitled to equal rights.
 
Kittleman also addressed people who oppose letting gay couples get married because they think it's counter to their religious beliefs. "I know that some may contend that since the Bible teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman, Maryland should continue to prohibit same sex marriage. First, let me state that I am a strong follower of Jesus Christ," he said. "However, while my faith may teach that marriage is between a man and a woman, our government is not a theocracy. As the state senator from District 9, I represent everyone in my district, regardless of their faith. Therefore, while my spiritual life is extremely important to me, it cannot be the sole basis for my decisions as a state senator."
 
It should be noted that there are many devout Christians who don't agree that the freedom to marry is incompatible with the tenets of their faith. Among them are Chris Williams and Juan McCoy, a loving and committed gay couple from Maryland who very much want to get married in their home state – and are also quite active in their church.
 
A poll last month found that a majority of Marylanders are in favor of marriage.