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City Councilman Joe Smith: 'It's a Matter of Love, It's a Matter of Fairness'

Havre de Grace politician takes a stand on Question 6, the Civil Marriage Protection Act.

Havre de Grace City Councilman Joe Smith made public his views about Question 6,  the referendum vote on Maryland's same-sex marriage law, at Monday's council meeting.

One of several issues up for referendum on Nov. 6, Question 6 asks voters whether to uphold the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which gives same-sex couples the ability to obtain marriage licenses. It also protects the rights of religious bodies to choose whether to recognize these unions.

It has a "direct effect on the residents of Havre de Grace," Smith said during the Oct. 15 meeting in City Hall.

Smith, who has been in a relationship with another man for more than two decades, noted the economic impact of preventing same-sex couples from being able to marry in the state and also the tax disparities it presents.

Same-sex couples, he said, "simply want to live their lives together knowing that they have ... protection under the law."

Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the Civil Marriage Protection Act into law in March and it is slated to take effect in 2013. However, opponents of the law submitted enough signatures to take the issue to referendum in November's election, The Baltimore Sun reported.

"For the numerous same-sex couples residing in Havre de Grace and in Maryland, it's a matter of love, it's a matter of fairness," Smith said at the Oct. 15 council meeting in Havre de Grace. 

There are 12,197 same-sex households in Maryland, according to the 2010 Census.

Maryland is one of four states where same-sex marriage is on the ballot this year. Maine, Minnesota and Washington are also putting the issue of same-sex marriage in the hands of voters.

See Related:

  • Havre de Grace City Councilman to Discuss Same-Sex Marriage
  • Councilman Joe Smith: Being Gay a ‘Non-Issue’
  • Meet the Candidate: Joseph Smith

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John Ferrara October 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM
There are 2,156,411 total households in Maryland according to the 2010 Census. That would make the same sex households only 0.57% of the total households in Maryland. Just say'n.
Bob October 17, 2012 at 01:33 PM
John, please make your point clear
Jessica October 17, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Thank You Mr.Smith!!!! I would be willing to bet the number of same-sex households is double that . . . but either way everyone who is in love and wants to be married to their partner should be able to do so. Vote FOR 6 :)
Curtis Coon October 18, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I question the propriety of using the dias at City Hall as a proper time and place to present political speeches on contraversial statewide issues.
Mike Tarbert October 18, 2012 at 09:08 PM
The voters will decide in November....
Tom Barnes November 05, 2012 at 12:51 PM
It is a very appropriate place to make a political speech. City Hall is, afterall, about politics. And the politics of the state affect all the people - even our town. My family is just as important and just as "real" as anyone elses. I am not a second class citizen. I refuse to be counted as one. If you don't think so, then don't demand that I pay taxes. Second class citizens shouldn't have to. Thanks for standing up for equality, Joe. More people should have the guts to do it.

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