In Maryland, there will be a referendum on the ballot in November to support the Civil Marriage Protection Act that allows same sex couple to recieve a marriage license. The law specifically states that religious institutions will not be required to marry same sex couples if it is inconsistent with their beliefs. Rev. Delman Coates, Senior Pastor of the Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, MD, has convened a group of pastors announce their support for marriage equality and to urge voters to vote "Yes" on question 6. They will hold a press conference on Friday, September 21st at 11:00 am at the National Press Club.
According to Rev. Coates, "The group of pastors that will assemble have a range of personal religious views and church practices as it relates to same sex marriage. Some perform same sex marriages and others do not. And yet, we stand united in the conviction that the role of the state is to protect the equal rights of all its citizens and should not codify discrimination as a matter of law and public policy." He went on to say, ""We are urging Marylanders to vote 'Yes' on Question 6, and to make sure all couples and their families are treated fairly and equally under the law."
Rev. Todd Yeary, Senior Pastor of the Douglas Memorial Community Church in Baltimore stated, "I can fully support the Civil Marriage Protection Act because it in no way forces any church to acknowledge or perform same sex marriages if it is incompatible with its beliefs. This is about protecting all families and ensuring that we have a society where everyone is treated equally as a matter of law without the imposition of religious dogma."
The group will be joined by the Rev. Al Sharpton and pastors from around the country.