In 2007 Delegate Ron George was elected to represent "We the people" of Maryland's 30th District. We're still waiting for him to vote like it.
Last week in Annapolis, George voted to represent his brand of extremist ideology, dissenting on House Bill 462. Once again he shamefully voted to perpetuate discrimination against the very people he represents. This time it's our teachers. Once again he's chosen to disregard his representative duty.
House Bill 462 proposes "altering a provision of law relating to discrimination in the employment of teachers in the public schools in the State to conform to other provisions of State law governing discrimination in employment."
What it means is adding "sexual orientation" to existing protected State classes. This is the dangerous intersection where Church and State mix like snake oil and water. Nevertheless it's an old fashioned, home recipe Delegate George like so many other social conservatives across America loves to follow.
The critical proviso of House Bill 462 reads:
The State Superintendent, a county board, a county superintendent, or an assistant to any one of these may not make any distinction or discriminate in favor of or against any teacher in the employment of a public school of this State because of race, religion, color, ancestry or national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability...
Last week the bill passed in the House by a vote of 131-3. It now moves to the Senate.
Mr. George was one of three dissenting, blind mice. Three delegates who are blind to reason, voting against inclusive anti-discrimination protections for all Maryland teachers. They are an insidious minority group, exercising political views far outside the mainstream.
131 of Delegate George's congressional peers voted yes to equality. These Delegates believe civil rights equality is meant for every citizen much like the vast majority of their fair-minded Maryland constituents.
Of course, the issue isn't equality for Delegate George. It's propagating a vision of religious intolerance.
This is about Delegate George's faith-based intolerance of gays and lesbians. Research his background, his personal & professional affiliations. Behind most of them lie the Legion of Christ and its lay branch the Regnum Christi. Their mission is "extending the Kingdom of Christ in society." This extremist sect of Catholicism is under investigation by the Vatican for recruiting practices and the abuse scandals of its late founder, Father Marcial Maciel.
In 2009 the Baltimore sect of the Legion of Christ came under the scrutiny of Archbishop Edwin O'Brien for its "heavily persuasive methods on young people, especially high schoolers, regarding vocations". At one point the Archbishop intended to expel these fundamentalist "Legionaires" from the Archdiocese.
The inclusive wording proposed by HB 462 would protect teachers from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
It's time to hold Delegate George accountable for giving voice to his ultra-conservative brand of marginalizing, religious politics instead of listening to the voice of reason embraced by his collective constituency.
It's time to call Delegate George on his abuse of political morality, a choice to promote his extreme personal ideology instead of the good of the people of Maryland District 30.
The first amendment guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of religion. It also guarantees separation of church and state so that "we the people" may also have freedom from religion.
Read the words of the principal author of our U.S. Constitution and one of our greatest Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson:
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-excerpted from Thomas Jefferson's "Wall of Separation" letter to the Danbury Baptist Association
It's past high time for Delegate George to separate his church from our state politics.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "...Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth."
Since Delegate George willfully disregards representation of the people of District 30 we have no choice other than to cast our vote against him in the November election.