Democratic Maryland state Senator C. Anthony Muse says the approval of the state's 'Question 6' will have consequences for those opposed to same sex marriage in that they will be forced to refrain from discriminating against them.
The Senator, who is also Pastor of Safety Christian Church in Upper Marlboro, wrote a column in the Washington Post that passage of Question 6, which would uphold the state’s marriage equality law, would remove the protections of individuals and business owners if their religious beliefs about marriage conflict with the law.
Part of Muse's article states,
"If Question 6 passes, ministries that seek to hold true to traditional religious beliefs may find themselves barred from using public parks, renting government buildings, staffing themselves with like-minded people of faith and bidding on government social services contracts. They may also find themselves required to provide leave and medical benefits contrary to their faith, and they could experience assaults on their tax-exempt status.
"We need to face the facts about Question 6. Before we redefine marriage in Maryland, we must contemplate the conflicts that will result between the government and individuals and religious institutions who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman. With all due respect to the religious leaders who claim otherwise, our religious freedom hangs in the balance with Question 6."
His complaint also stated that individuals who decline to assist in the celebration of same sex unions could face lawsuits and fines, as well as infringment on their businesses that. Furthermore Muse says Question 6 will have detrimental effects on religious organizations that provide medical, education and social services where funding or partial funding comes from federal or state funding sources.
Muse argues that religious beliefs and convictions regarding practices that are contrary to biblical interpretation should provide adequate legal protection for discriminating against same sex couples.
Muse's church has approximately 2,000 members, and has filed bankruptcy twice. The latest filing came in June of 2011.