Let Justice Roll Down Like Water, Righteousness Like an Ever-Flowing Stream
We are Maryland clergy and religious leaders of many faiths, traditions, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. We represent religious institutions, organizations, and movements throughout the state. We come from different political parties and philosophies but lift our voices in unity to speak a faithful word for justice and equality for all families.
We declare that our faith calls us to affirm marriage equality for loving same-sex couples.
Our religious traditions and scriptures teach us that wherever love is present, God is also present. One of God’s greatest gifts to us is our human capacity to love one another. The ability of two people to enter into relationships and form families of love and care is one expression of this gift. It is holy and good. We therefore affirm that all Maryland families are worthy of fair treatment and deserve equal legal recognition.
We recognize that there are principled differences on this issue within the religious community. We affirm that the state should not require any religious group to officiate at, or bless, same-sex marriages. However, the state also should not favor the convictions of one religious group over another by denying individuals a fundamental right to legally marry whom they love. We expect and trust the legislation in Maryland will protect religious freedom and provide full protection for religious institutions to maintain their beliefs and traditions.
God is love and love is for everyone. Now is the time for Maryland to stand on the side of love and compassion to affirm equality for all LGBT families.
|Cynthia Terry, Goucher College (United Church of Christ)|
|Megan Foley, Sugarloaf Congregation of UUs (Unitarian Universalist)|
|The Rev. Dr. Wayne Schwandt, Evolve Chesapeake, Chesapeake Creation Spirituality Community (independent progressive)|
|Shelly Mohnkern, Universal Temple of Spirits (Pagan)|
|Elizabeth Richman, Jews United for Justice (Conservative Jewish)|
|David Carl Olson, First Unitarian Church of Baltimore (Unitarian Universalist Association)|
|Carla Johnson, Unity Fellowship Church of Baltimore (Unity Fellowship Church Movement )|
|Robert Saks, Columbia Jewish Cong. (Jewish)|
|Darren Phelps, Bethel Christian Church (Non-denominational)|
|Preston Mears, Retired (Episcopal)|
|Kathy Corbett-Welch, St Luke's, Brighton (Episcopal)|
|Lisa Ward, UUFHC (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Ellen Jennings, Cleveland Park Congregational United Church of Christ (United Church of Christ)|
|Angela Shepherd, The Episcopal Church (Episcopal)|
|Daniel Hamlin, Greenbelt Community Church (United Church of Christ)|
|Frank Smith (Independent)|
|Andrew Foster Connors, Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.))|
|Clare Petersberger, The Towson Unitarian Universalist Church (Unitarian Universalist)|
|William Murry, River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Unitarian Universalist Association)|
|Sandy Rector, Oak Chapel UMC (United Methodist)|
|Arthur Dan Gleckler, Bethesda UMC/Baltimore (United Methodist)|
|Dreion Colter, First Unitarian Church of Baltimore|
|Nancy Pellegrini, Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Christina Leone, UU Church of Annapolis (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Darlene Garner, UFMCC (Metropolitan Community Churches)|
|Edward Michael, UU Fellowship of Harford County, Maryland (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Beth O'Malley, Hood College (United Church of Christ)|
|Lyn Cox, UUs of Fallston (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Amanda Poppei, Washington Ethical Society (Unitarian Universalist and Ethical Culture)|
|Peter Mayer, St. Margaret's (Episcopal)|
|Marty Kuchma, St. Paul's UCC (United Church of Christ)|
|Paige Getty, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Evan Keely, Cedar Lane UU Church (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Father Matthew D'Amario, Church of the Holy Nativity (Episcopal)|
|Rev. Jill McCrory, Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists (Baptist)|
|The Reverend Nancy Webb, Grace UMC (United Methodist Church)|
|Rev. Gordon Forbes, Christ Church-Silver Spring (United Church of Christ)|
|Reverend Cynthia Snavely, Goodloe Memorial UU Congregation (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Rev. Amy Lewis, Christ Congregational Church, UCC (Alliance of Baptists)|
|The Reverend Susan LaMar, Channing Memorial Church Unitarian Universalist (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Rev. Bruce Swanson, Central Atlantic Conference (United Church of Christ)|
|Rev. Dr. Matthew Braddock, Christ Congregational Church (UCC)|
|Rev. Lucy Brady, St. Paul's UCC (United Church of Christ)|
|The Rev. Nancy Dilliplane, Grace Memorial Church (Episcopal)|
|Rabbi Gerald Serotta, Shirat HaNefesh Congregation (Jewish)|
|Rev Emily Proctor, Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian)|
|Leader Hugh Taft-Morales, Baltimore Ethical Society (Ethical Culture)|
|Rabbi Arthur Blecher, Congregation BethChai (Jewish)|
|Rev. Phyllis Hubbell, UUA (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Rev. Marilyn Washburn, Church of the Holy Trinity (United Church of Christ)|
|Rev. Stephen Anderson, Pilgrim UCC (UCC)|
|Rev. Dr. Kathryn Wajda, Diocese of Maryland (Episcopalian)|
|Reverend Valerie Wills, Unitarian Universalist Church of Hagerstown (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Rev. Dr. Douglas Griffin, Grace Church (United Church of Christ)|
|Rev. Dr. Terence Ellen, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Greater Cumberland (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Rev. Mark Wakefield, Christ Reformed UCC (UCC)|
|Rev. Kevin Munroe, Zion Reformed UCC (United Church of Christ)|
|Michael Dutzer (ex-catholic)|
|Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel , Evangelical Reformed UCC (United Church of Christ )|
|Elizabeth Pattison, Rockville United Church (UCC & Presbyterian)|
|Rev. Dr. Eric Winnette, Rockville United Church (UCC/PCUSA)|
|Rev Kingsley Smith (Episcopal)|
|Kevin Todd, St. Albans (Episcopal)|
|Rev. Jane O'Leary, Episcopal Diocese of MD (Episcopal)|
|Hope Bauerlin, Religious Congregation (Catholic (Roman))|
|Executive Director Philip Attey, Catholics for Eqality (Roman Catholic)|
|Reverend David North, Holy Redeemer MCC (Metropolitan Community Churches)|
|The Rev. Thomas J. Hudson, St James Episcopal Church (Episcopal)|
|The Rev'd James Holmes, Retired (Episcopal Church)|
|Margery Dimond, Cedar Lane UU Church (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Rev. Dr. Robert Apgar-Taylor, Veritas UCC (United Church of Christ)|
|Rev Sara Shisler, The Cathedral of the Incarnation (Episcopal)|
|Rev. Wiliam Bolin, retired (Baptost)|
|Pastor Mark Greiner, Takoma Park Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)|
|Reverend Debby Morris, Circle Sanctuary (Wicca)|
|Pastor COB Larry Brumfield, Common Ground on the Hill (COB)|
|Rev. Mr. Donald Stroud, none at present (Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.))|
|Dr. Carroll Saussy, Rokville United Church (Catholic)|
|The Rev. Canon January Hamill, Fairhaven (Episcopal)|
|Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation (Jewish (Reconstructionist))|
|The Rve. Dr. Alison Halsey, The First and Franklin St. Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian U.S.A.)|
|The Rev. Patricia Drost, St. Paul's (Episcopal)|
|Lea Gilmore, Unaffiliated (Christian )|
|Rev. Cynthia Lapp, Hyattsville Mennontie Church (Mennonite)|
|Rev. Christa Fuller Burns, Faith Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)|
|Maxen Jack-Monroe, Goucher College (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Rev. Dr. Terry Fitzgerald, First and St. Stephen's United Church of Christ (United Church of Christ)|
|The Rev. Dr. Henrietta Wiley, Cathedral of the Incarnation (Episcopal)|
|Reverend Diane Teichert, Paint Branch UU Church (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Mary Herman, American Ethical Union (Washington Ethical Society)|
|Reverend Edward MIchael, UU Fellowship of Harford County, Maryland (Unitarian Universalist)|
|The Reverend Clare Peter, The Towson Unitarian Universalist Church (Unitarian Universalist)|
|Rev. Bruce Marshall, Davies Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church (Unitarian Universalist)|
|The Reverend Alistair So, All Hallows Parish (Episcopal)|
|Mrs Bessie Messenger, MCC (Catholic)|
|Reverend Karen Rasmussen , UU Church of Silver Spring (Unitarian Universalist )|
|Elizabeth Franz, Goucher College (Catholic)|
|Rev. Gabriele Parks, UU Fellowship at Easton (Unitarian Universalist)|
|The Rev. Lee Hudson, Messiah Lutheran Church (ELCA)|
|Ms Carole Conors, St. Mark's Lutheran, Baltimore (Lutheran)|
|Mrs. Mollie Pier, Temple Judea of Tarzana (Jewish)|
|Reverend Starlene Joyner Burns, SJB Ministries LLC (Nondenominational)|
|Mr. Robert Ferguson (Baptist)|
|Christina Poff, St. Agnes (Roman Catholic)|
|Kelli Jordan (Baptist)|
|Ms. Marcia Van Patton, Retired|
|Rabbi Craig Axler, Congregation Beth Or (Reform)|
|Brooke Mace, Cumberland (Nondenominational)|
|Marcy Bloomenthal (Jewish)|
|Mr. Bryan Jajowka, Catholic Church (Catholic)|
|Executive Director Emily Eastwood, LC/NA (ELCA)|
|David Salisbury, The Firefly House (Wicca)|
|Clerk Linda Pardoe, Patapsco Friends Meeting (Quaker)|
|David Donaldson, Patapsco Friends Meeting (Quaker)|
|Sister Jeannine Gramick, National Coalition of American Nuns (Roman Catholic)|
|The Rev. Dr. Joan Beilstein, Church of the Ascension, Silver Spring, MD (Episcopal Church)|
|Mikey Franklin, Kehilat Shalom Temple (Jewish)|
|Rabbi Doug Heifetz, Oseh Shalom (Jewish)|
Spiritual Leader Marianne "Mahala" Connally, Unity (Unity - Interfaith)
First Unitarian Church of Baltimore and Free State Legal Project present:
From Stonewall toSecuring Marriage Rights:
What Does It Mean for Us?
Exploring the Legal Implications of Marriage for Gay Couples
A comprehensive overview of legal marriage in the State of Maryland for gay couples. Whether you are already married or just considering, esteemed attorneys Susan Francis and Susan Silber will walk you through everything you need to know before and after you walk down that aisle. Beyond romance, learn what those 1000+ contracts and responsibilities actually mean!
Topics to be discussed include:
DOMA– What is DOMA & Challenges to DOMA; Federal protections outside of DOMA; Considerations when not to marry – (Medicaid, other public benefits, immigration, continuation of prior spousal benefits).
MD Law Overview – 1000+ laws. How protected under MD law? What are protections, benefits, obligations? What is the effect of the federal government not recognizing your marriage? What are the consequences of other states not recognizing your marriage? Strategies to protect your family.
Marriage – Family Law Issues. License – how to marry, what if married elsewhere, what if have a civil union; Pre-nuptial agreements = clarify marital v. nonmarital property, simplify divorce process, collaborative or mediation dispute resolution; Domestic Partnership affidavit– specific benefits.
Protecting our Families. Wills, trusts, health care directive, POA, DP Affidavits, DP or PreNup Agreements
Protecting our Children. Second parent adoption, birth certificate with marriage (full faith & credit issues), problems with de facto/third party parent, donors, surrogacy.
Divorce Issues. Length of marriage, maintaining ties & friendships, DOMA (pension, tax, alimony); dissolution of civil unions/domestic partnerships.
OtherMD Marital Issues. Insurance; Employment – public & private; FMLA; Real Property – Tenants by entirety; Public benefits – Medicaid; Name changes; Taxes – joint – imputed state income; estate; inheritance; alimony & QDROs; transfers between spouses; mortgage interest; tax credit programs; Military & veteran benefits.
Saturday, June 8, 2013, 9am - noon
Enoch Pratt Parish Hall, 514 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
The seminar is free and open to the public. However, space is limited, so please respond to email@example.com, or call 410-685-2330 to reserve your seat. Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance via email.
About the presenters:
Susan Francis is the Foreclosure Prevention Project Manager at the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS). She formerly was an Associate at Silber, Perlman, Sigman and Tilev; and theFamily Law Research Specialist at the Administrative Office of the Courts, Department of Family Administration. She graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2011. She was a member of Law Review and the Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society for Leadership. She has interned at the Public Justice Center, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Susan has a B.S. and M.S. in Journalism from Ohio University. She served as Development and Communications Director for the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing for twelve years and was most recently the Development Director forEquality Maryland. She serves on the Board of Directors of Free State LegalProject and the Public Justice Center. She has co-written with Ms. Silber several articles on gay marriage for the Washington Blade, the Maryland Domestic Law Reporter, and the Equality Maryland marriage FAQs on their webpage, and has conducted various workshops on the intersection of family law and LGBT families. Susan and her wife, Sandy, were married in Ontario, Canada in 2004. firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Silber has dedicated her legal career of over 30 years to advancing the rights of all families, including a focus on same-sex families. Susan founded the law firm of Silber, Perlman, Sigman & Tilev, PA, which is a full service, community-based law firm located in Takoma Park, Maryland. She is an experienced attorney in family, employment, civil rights, and municipal law, and has served as the City Attorney for Takoma Park for 30 years.
In addition to drafting, counseling, negotiation, and litigation, Susan is an experienced mediator and collaborative attorney. She has assisted hundreds of people incooperatively forming their families (e.g., second parent adoptions, livingtogether contracts, powers of attorney, medical directives, and parenting agreements). Sue has been featured on national television and is a frequent guest speaker. She has spoken extensively on Lesbian and Gay parenting issues, including custody, adoption, alternative fertilization, surrogacy, and documents helpful in protecting unmarried and same-sex families. Susan was named a Super Lawyer by her peers in Super Lawyers Magazine for both Maryland and Washington, DC.
Susan is a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, currently serves on the board of Equality Maryland and the Divorce Roundtable, and is a past president of the LGBT Bar Association of Maryland. She was recently honored for her distinguished service by COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere), GAYLAW (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,Transgender Attorneys of Washington, DC), and her synagogue Bet Mishpachah.Susan’s children have two moms. Her family has been featured in three books and was interviewed by Barbara Walters for ABC’s “20/20”. email@example.com
Please join us the second sunday of every month for our Board Meeting.
Contact Vanessa, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Please join us the second sunday of every month for our Board Meeting.
Contact Vanessa, email@example.com, for more information.