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Carroll County Government Leaders Sign Resolution Favoring Heterosexual Marriage

The resolution says that marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of America's future.

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners and four of the county's seven state representatives have adopted a joint resolution proclaiming marriage between a man and a woman as the "foundation of healthy families and a healthy future for America."

The resolution says that children raised by heterosexual married couples will likely be healthier and more stable and successful than children raised in single-parent or same-sex parent households.

According to the resolution, "Scientific evidence confirms that when the marriage tie frays, children suffer. Children raised outside of marriage are more likely to commit crime; fail at school and on the job; abuse drugs; lapse into physical and mental illness; become teen parents; to suffer material deprivation; and saddest of all, to become the victims of child abuse...."

Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier, R-District 1, spearheaded the initiative for crafting the resolution, which was approved by the Board of Commissioners during a public hearing June 16.  

During her introduction of the resolution, she referred to Maryland Senate Bill 116, the hotly debated Civil Marriage Protection Act, which would allow same-sex marriages to receive the same legal benefits as traditional heterosexual marriages. The Civil Marriage Protection Act made it out of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, passed the full Senate, and passed out of the House Judiciary Committee. The bill died in the House of Delegates. 

"During the legislative session, much of the legislation attacked foundational principles and institutions that make America great, and we feel like we should take stands on some of these things as leaders," Frazier said. The board meeting was recorded and posted on the county government website, where it was viewed by Patch. 

The resolution qualifies marriage as between a man and a woman.

"Marriage is the outward, visible sign of a man and a woman's desire to create a lasting love, forge a tie so strong that a child's heart can rely upon it," the resolution reads. "Marriage creates the safest space for children to flourish, and is the only practical way for children to enjoy the full emotional, moral and financial protection of both mother and father."

The last paragraph reads, "We, the undersigned, herein recognize and resolve to affirm the importance of building and supporting healthy marriages between a man and a woman, as it is clearly a matter of legitimate public concern and welfare."

The resolution is signed by board President Doug Howard, Vice President Haven Shoemaker Jr., Frazier and commissioners David Roush and Richard Rothschild, as well as delegates Donald Elliott (4B), Justin Ready (5), Nancy Stocksdale (5) and Susan Krebs (9B). Senators Joseph Getty (5), David Brinkley (4) and Allan Kittleman (9) did not sign the document.

David Rocah, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland, disagreed with a major premise of the resolution.

"Peer-reviewed studies have compared heterosexual and same-sex couples, and all have consistently found no difference in outcomes for children. Having two parents seems to be the most important factor, rather than the gender of the parents," he said in an e-mail. 

"The ACLU agrees that marriage is a positive social institution that promotes healthy families and positive outcomes for children. That's why it's so important that families headed by gay couples be allowed to participate in the institution as well."


Amy M. Gilford June 21, 2011 at 11:31 AM
The Centers for Disease Control recently released a report saying that children do best in the traditional nuclear family. You can search that, I cannot pull it up at the moment. The Commissioners are really a part of a national effort to recognize the obvious - that there is a MOUNTAIN of data showing the benefits of marriage for society and especially children. We can't compare apples to oranges (other ways that people form relationships) and expect the same outcomes. Many states governments (Maryland just doesn't seem to understand the financial crisis that we're in and how our current leaders just continue to magnify it with horrendous legislation) actually set aside money for relationship education efforts to help prevent family fragmentation and increased need for services. Right now, we spend about $729 million annually on servicing people as a part of the fall-out. While there is a small percentage of couples that choose different lifestyles, we cannot confuse them what what traditional marriage stands for. I am saddened by this continued debate and cringe at the attacks I see being hurled at people who want to protect a long-standing institution that is critical for national as well as community stability. I hope people do some serious research on this resolution before criticizing it.
Lisa Bass June 21, 2011 at 12:27 PM
I cringe at the thought of the government singling out a population of tax-paying Americans/Carroll Countians and telling them they don't have rights.  Sounds a lot like a little thing called slavery.  Look how much we regret that decision. I haven't viewed the commisioner's actual document yet, but I sure hope they cited their sources for the "scientific evidence".  
Ariel Harper Nave June 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM
Having been a single mother for some of my child-rearing years, I believe that children DO do best with two loving and involved parents. (So do parents, with partners as alternates!) That said, I know of no reason why these parents have to be of opposite genders. I taught my children growing up that it doesn't matter WHO you love so much as THAT you love; and that character and commitment are the essentials in any relationship--especially those involving children. We ALL need positive models of all genders (heterosexual, gay, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexual), exemplars on whose character and mores we can build a just, humane, and inclusive society.
Amy M. Gilford June 21, 2011 at 01:26 PM
You can request a copy of this resolution from sreese@ccg.carr.org. I did but can't get it to paste here. Again, it's not about what others choose or about those that find themselves single parenting (bravo - very hard task!) it's about what research shows is best. I know sometimes it's hard to look past our personal lens to see what might be hard to swallow. But I'd encourage your to read the CDC report (there's 2 now) as well as 26 Conclusions from Social Scientists, numerous reports by the Heritage Foundation, etc.. . . if you don't find the reports by week's end I can follow up then. Checking out for a few days and going techno free.
Leza Griffith June 21, 2011 at 01:50 PM
I would be thrilled if our Commissioners would spend time on local issues instead of worrying about who loves whom. I thought these 5 were all about liberty and small government?! Keep your noses out of our bedrooms.
David J Iacono June 21, 2011 at 02:03 PM
What does this have to do with schools, jobs, infrastructure, growth planning, etc. It seems Commissioner Frazier and the rest of the religious right Commissioners should stick to doing county business rather than pursuing their religious zeolotry on the taxpayer dime.
Rose Wood June 21, 2011 at 02:31 PM
Research doesn't raise children; people do. One size never fits all. What gives any one of us the right to speak for others? If you want to bring religion into it (as our Commissioners are so eager to do on every issue), then consider this: God is perfect. He creates perfection. He doesn't make mistakes. Every human being is unique, created by our Father who is incapable of imperfection. So who are we to say that anyone among us is imperfect, or wrong in some way? The Bible tells us not to judge one another, so aren't we going against His will when we reject certain ones among us? Remember that phrase from the '70's: "God don't make no junk!"
Jennie Kallio June 21, 2011 at 07:14 PM
This makes me sick. As a mother who has been and will continue to raise my children essentially as a single parent I would love to know what purpose this resolution serves? What a waste of time and money. If you want to know what Carroll County families worry about let's start with taxes and schools. And believe me, my kids are MUCH better off with me alone than with the 2 parents they were born to!
lynne June 21, 2011 at 07:24 PM
Using personal ideology as the motivation for your actions rarely creates any sort of practical result. This document fails to address how our local representatives plan on strengthening families and preventing the risks that our children will "commit crime; fail at school and on the job; abuse drugs; lapse into physical and mental illness; become teen parents; to suffer material deprivation; and saddest of all, to become the victims of child abuse". However, since our local representatives have now formally stated their commitment to preventing these things we can all expect swift action in their creation of community-based supports and full-funding and support of existing support services. How about Access Carroll? What about Dad's Works? I expect that the commissioners will find the funding to provide family services to the dozens of families on the waiting list for services at the Carroll County Youth Services Bureau. Divorce is frequently the result of financial stress. Let's see foreclosure prevention services, a push for jobs that provide a living wage, and access to health-care for all of our citizens. How about the long waiting list for housing assistance in Carroll? Now we can expect the commissioners to tackle that also. Family planning services? A drug rehab center? Mental health screening in our schools? How about restoring the cuts to our public schools? I'm elated our local representatives have committed themselves to producing actual results!
Angie Scalion-Purpora June 21, 2011 at 08:39 PM
Well said Ariel! This is very disturbing to read. I will not ever vote for anyone who signed such a ridiculous resolution!
Pamela Zappardino June 21, 2011 at 08:55 PM
I am horrified that the entire board of commisioners has sgined a resolution consciously denying basic civil rights to many of our neighbors, their contituents. It really is that simple.
Jennie Kallio June 22, 2011 at 12:56 AM
I am so bothered by this I took time to contact Commissioner Frazier today to let her office know what I thought about this resolution. If you too would like to contact her- 410 386 2044
aveteran June 22, 2011 at 04:23 AM
How aggressively does the county pursue and prosecute deadbeat parents and domestic abusers? Those issues have a greater negative impact on children than same-gender or single parenting. Let those elected officials actually EARN their pay. Oh, and marriage isn't JUST about children, so enough of that phony excuse for bigotry.
aveteran June 22, 2011 at 04:26 AM
Heritage Foundation? Citing them on civil rights issues is like citing Bernie Madoff on risk-free investment.
ESPinCC June 22, 2011 at 02:03 PM
Here's the link to the CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_246.pdf The report does indeed conclude that children raised in a "nuclear family" benefited the most. But look at how the "nuclear family" is defined in the beginning of the report: "A nuclear family consists of one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are each biological or adoptive parents to all children in the family." This includes homosexual married parents that have adopted the children. No distinction is made between hetero and homosexual couples in the report, as far as I can tell. There's also severe data limitations as listed in the report that leaves many of the results highly questionable.
ESPinCC June 22, 2011 at 02:19 PM
I would say the most telling and important line in the entire CDC report is this one from the limitations section: "causality or directionality in the family structure and child health relationship cannot be determined from NHIS data." In other words, they admit in the report that the data they present doesn't prove a thing about family structure CAUSING any of the child health results. This is a correlation study, not a causation study, which is a critical point to understand when reading this particular report.
Masha Makhlyagina June 22, 2011 at 03:49 PM
I find this to be completely ridiculous. Hi, Carroll County, you're trying to break free from the shackles of lower socio-economic standards of education, emphasizing bringing new, bright perspectives into this world. I was proud to have spent many years in Carroll County, MD learning, growing, and becoming a small part of a very amazing community of people. What this resolution does is ignore countless reports that say that children need stable homes (and stability does not mean heterosexuality--how many kids come from STRAIGHT broken home where they are neglected, abused, disadvantaged?). For the person who keeps quoting the CDC reports, honey, I've read them. My entire college career was dedicated to LGBT and Straight Ally rights and sociological/psychological/biological arguments concerning these populations. Go back and read them, as several people have pointed out. On a separate note, it is appalling that the resolution is justified so emotionally. Not all couples seeking marriage want anything to do with children. There are hundreds, yes hundreds, of legal and medical benefits denied to non-heterosexual and gender non-conforming couples each year based on emotionally driven definitions of marriage. Marriage is not an emotional contract in itself, it is not a religious contract, it is a legal contract. And on legal grounds, denying taxpayers rights is unjustifiable. Period.
josh June 22, 2011 at 04:30 PM
If they're so concerned about marriage being the foundation of our society then they need to make divorce illegal. Not in cases of abuse or anything extreme like that, but i know some places force people to go to go many hours of marriage counseling before filing for divorce. So why cant we implement something similar?
lynne June 22, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Because they are more concerned with pandering to the far right, lowering taxes (on the backs of school children no less), and streamlining the building permit process than providing meaningful services. This is propaganda: they should be challenged to put their money where their mouths are. A review of the voting records of our state legislators clearly shows that they are less than committed to human services.
carrollmd June 23, 2011 at 02:34 AM
Hi Amy, have you also read these? Sorry, limited space to post. This is only a sample: Perrin, E. C. (2002). Technical report: Coparent or second-parent adoption by same-sex parents. PEDIATRICS, 109(2), 341-344: "Children’s optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes." American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. (2002). Coparent or second-parent adoption by same-sex parents. PEDIATRICS, 109(2), 339-340: "The [AAP] recognizes that a considerable body of professional literature provides evidence that children with parents who are homosexual can have the same advantages and the same expectations for health, adjustment, and development as can children whose parents are heterosexual." American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. (2006). Facts for families: Children with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents, No. 92. Washington, DC: American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: "Current research shows that children with gay and lesbian parents do not differ from children with heterosexual parents ... It is the quality of the parent/child relationship and not the parent’s sexual orientation that has an effect on a child’s development." I cringe at the attacks, too, usually from misinformed folks like our county leaders ...
Amy M. Gilford June 27, 2011 at 04:30 AM
@ESPinCC - I'm sorry, but I disagree with your interpretation of the CDC report. If there is a significant correlation between family formation and child well-being outcomes, then we should take note. It is my opinion that you are stretching the CDC's definition of nuclear family so your conclusions, of course will be different. We'll have to agree to disagree. @carrollmd - yes, thank you, I am familiar with those. They suggest a large body of research exists, but that really is not true to date. Here is another source from a different medical body to consider if you would like to explore the issue further. If not, I completely understand: http://www.christiantelegraph.com/issue9394.html Again, other reports to look at are the Taxpayers Report (Ben Scafoldi) and 24 Conclusions of Social Scientists. The Commissioners are taking note of the high cost of family fragmentation and out-of-wedlock births, etc. on the tax payer and society as a whole. From an economic standpoint, as elected officials, I appreciate their awareness.
Sandra Mancha-Wright June 28, 2011 at 03:16 PM
This is alarming! I appreciate the Senators Joseph Getty (5), David Brinkley (4) and Allan Kittleman (9) who did NOT sign the Resolution Favoring Heterosexual Marriage.
Thomas Walker June 28, 2011 at 05:51 PM
I couldn't agree more!
Thomas Walker June 28, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Right on Josh!
Tim Walstrum August 03, 2011 at 05:12 PM
Amy, It doesn't matter what you think about the CDC study. It matters what the author says and they stated in response to a question that nuclear family did indeed include same sex couples so you are wrong. As for the other studies you stated these were done by Christian groups not recognized by the AMA or APA.
Chase Hiller August 03, 2011 at 10:43 PM
Amy, I'm not sure there is a way to put this politely, but you could not be more out of touch with reality. The interpretations of the CDC report that most of the people on this thread made are correct. I think you could benefit from a dose of reality. Here is a video of Senator Al Franken debunking your (and the right-wing's) interpretation of the CDC report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_8SVWp1YPo Additionally, the link you provided centers around the so-called "American College of Pediatricians." This is a classic tactic of the religious right-wing: come up with an organization whose name sounds legitimate so as to dupe the average listener. Most people would confuse this with the American Academic of Pediatrics, which is the major professional association of pediatricians. On the other hand, the American College of Pediatricians is a "politically conservative advocacy group," so I'm not sure how they can be used as a professional medical statement on issues. Finally, with regards to your last paragraph, I'm wondering exactly what "the high cost of family fragmentation and out-of-wedlock births, etc. on the tax payer and society as a whole" has to do with allowing loving, committed same-sex couples to obtain a marriage license to protect their families.
Kathy August 04, 2011 at 11:17 AM
Excellent points, all!

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