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."