Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin on
Tuesday exposed flaws in the arguments of a gay marriage foe.
During a Senate Judicial Proceedings
Committee hearing on a bill which would make Maryland the seventh
state to legalize gay marriage, Brian Raum of the Christian
conservative group Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), testified that the
measure was flawed because its religious protections did not extend
to private businesses and individuals.
The bill's religious exemptions do
“little for the masses of people that are business people and that
run other kinds of organizations that are going to be affected by the
redefinition of marriage in Maryland,” Raum testified.
In a follow up question to his
testimony, Raskin, a Democrat, asked, “Do you think that hotels,
motels and restaurants should have to serve gay and lesbian people
who want to be customers?”
“Definitely,” Raum answered.
“But they shouldn't have to serve gay
and lesbian people who are married?”
“There's a distinction between
discrimination based on sexual orientation on one hand and redefining
marriage on the other hand. If an organization believes they can't
facilitate a ceremony which directly conflicts with their faith that
is not discrimination simply based on sexual orientation,” he
Raskin insisted: “[Y]ou testified
that hotels, motels and restaurants should be required to serve gay
individuals, but you think that we should write into the law they
should not be required to serve married gay individuals?”
“No, I didn't say that,” Raum said.
“I said that religious individuals should not be forced to
facilitate same-sex marriage.”