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Anti-Question 6 group defends pastor’s controversial comments

Derek McCoy dismissed claims Pastor Robert Anderson called for anti-gay violence during Oct. 19 town hall



Maryland Marriage Alliance, same sex marriage, gay marriage, gay news Washington Blade
Maryland Marriage Alliance, same sex marriage, gay marriage, gay news Washington Blade

The chair of the Maryland Marriage Alliance on Wednesday defended a pastor’s controversial comments against Question 6. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The head of the group opposed to Maryland’s same-sex marriage law on Wednesday defended a pastor’s controversial comments against Question 6 during a Baltimore panel on the issue last week.

“Any attempt to imply that Dr. Anderson’s reading of scripture was a call to harm gays and lesbians is false and serves as a distraction from the real issues of this campaign,” said Derek McCoy, chair of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, in a statement. “The Maryland Marriage Alliance No on Question 6 campaign has been and remains focused on explaining to voters the good that marriage does for society, and the consequences that have occurred when marriage has been redefined elsewhere. From the beginning, we have been deeply committed to civility and honor the value of everyone’s human rights. Scripture tells us that all God’s children are made in his image and likeness, and we are called to speak truth through love. We continue to deplore violence or bullying against any person and or group of people on either side of this issue.”

Reverend Robert Anderson of Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown, Md., cited the last verse of Romans 1 during an Oct. 19 town hall meeting on Question 6 at Manna Bible Baptist Church in Baltimore that suggests those who practice homosexuality and those who approve it are “deserving of death.” McCoy, who was also on the four person panel, did not challenge Anderson as he continued to speak against the state’s same-sex marriage law.

“If we don’t vote against it, than we are approving these things that are worthy of death,” said Anderson.

The town hall took place two days before McCoy, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., and others attended a rally against marriage rights for same-sex couples at New Harvest Ministries in Baltimore. Phillip Goudeaux of the Calvary Christian Center in Sacramento, Calif., described gay men as “predators” who seek to indoctrinate “our children” during the two hour gathering that drew roughly 100 people.

“Supporters [of] Question 6 are working towards a Maryland where all citizens are treated equally under the law,” said Sultan Shakir of Marylanders for Marriage Equality in response to Anderson’s comments. “The kind of intolerance displayed by opponents paints a clear contrast of what’s at stake in this campaign. Such rancid comments have absolutely no place in this debate. We demand the host of the event, Derek McCoy, disavow and apologize for his panel’s viciously anti-gay words.”

McCoy further defended Anderson.

“Throughout this campaign, we have been clear that all people are worthy of dignity and respect and that tolerance and acceptance of gay and lesbian friends and family does not mean that marriage should be redefined,” he said. “There are people of good will on both sides of this issue. We believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and is the foundation of a stable society. Supporting traditional marriage does not make anyone anti-gay.”

Manna Bible Baptist Church has posted a video of the town hall that includes Anderson’s comments on its website.

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  1. Willie Braxton

    October 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Equality Maryland needs to runs ads featuring Reverend Robert Anderson. Time to take off the gloves and play to win.

  2. Anonymous

    October 25, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Thank GODDD the republicans and NRA have made sure that you and I can carry guns for protection! If you go to a Baptist or fundamentalist church, and you are gay/LGBT, then maybe you should bring some protection! Well, at least if you go to THIS guy's church, that is. But hey: you have a right to defend yourself from assault and from death threats– even if they are only coming from Jesus and the Holy Spirit– right? Of course right.

    • Katy Blank

      October 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      Please be careful Christians how you speak. I believe its sad that we have to redefine anything. There are many companies that support significant others. I don't think redefining marriage is the key to showing love to alternative life styles. People use Government to spit at the people who believe in God. The rights of the families that believe in marriage as it is defined in the word of God, know this should not be redefined. They need to come up with rights that don't hurt one and not the other. It's he said she said. People who believe in God are trying to defend their faith. Because people who don't care about faith try to hurt people of faith. Calling them bad names, that's a hate crime, however Christians don't fight back because they love or should love all. If they are not loving based on the Bible they are not Christians. So the hate that comes to them is defended and that is just as much hate as calling people names of alternative lifestyle . Lets just be kind to one another, and do case by case basis law suites of people who do injustices to anyone. It should not redefine peoples faith. That is against the Words of God. You do this and you are speaking against God. I love people and I think people need more information about things before setting laws in motion. Laws are here to protect us from injustice. Where is the justice if you tell one person its okay to change their faith, based on mans word over Gods word. I am sorry. I will love all people, I will treat them with love, but redefine someones faith,using your words over God word I will not do. Alternative Lifestyle should learn about not hurting people of faith. Read the Bible, read where their faith is challenged, have an understanding of what they believe and the values they want for their families. We do have to love, we do have to trust in God, who created all and is in all people. One of my best friends is Gay, I love her she is my friend. She knows the words of God. She does not disagree with the words, but she is hurt by others who come against her. When she comes back to God, I know she will see He is more important than anything to her.

  3. Laura

    October 26, 2012 at 9:06 am

    The man is joke. He was clearly threatening the Gay population and he’s too much of a coward to admit it. That’s the kind of people that are against Question 6. Sick homophobic self-pro claimed christians. If I meet the small minded M.F. he’s history.

  4. Lanorexic

    October 26, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I’ve noticed that African Americans are especially hateful towards the L.G.B.T. community. How do they come to be so hateful of anyone when they need every ally they can find? What’s really humorous is how they call themselves ‘Pastors’ even when they’ve never seen the inside of a High School, much less a Seminary. I guess the truth is the first thing to go in the war on equality.

  5. Jean Pierre Katz

    October 27, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Reverend Anderson's extreme judgement of death for those in favor of Marriage Fairness highlight that Maryland citizens should have civil marriage open to all.

    He may be reading his Bible correctly, I don't agree but I'm no expert.

    I know Maryland does not want divorce or sleeping in late on Sundays to be illegal.
    even if the Bible says it's sinful.

    Please vote to let citizens decide who to love not the religious police.

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FreeState Justice outlines 2022 legislative priorities

Bills introduced to repeal ‘unnatural or perverted sexual practice’ law



conversion therapy, gay news, Washington Blade

FreeState Justice has outlined its legislative priorities for the Maryland General Assembly’s 2022 legislative session that began on Jan. 12.

State Sen. Clarence Lam (D-Baltimore and Harford Counties) has introduced Senate Bill 22, which would repeal a provision of Maryland law that bans “unnatural or perverted sexual practice.” State Dels. David Moon (D-Montgomery County), Lorig Charkoudian (D-Montgomery County) and Julie Palakovich Carr (D-Montgomery County) have introduced an identical bill in the House of Delegates.

A bill that repealed Maryland’s sodomy law took effect in 2020 without Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature, but the “unnatural or perverted sexual practice” provision that criminalizes oral sex and bestiality remains in place.

FreeState Justice Policy Director C.P. Hoffman on Jan. 12 noted during a virtual briefing that prosecutors rarely bring charges under the law. Hoffman nevertheless pointed out four men who were arrested at a video store in Harford County in May 2021 were indicted under it.

“Its really just offensive that this is being used against queer people in 2021,” said Hoffman. “So we want to see it repealed.”

Hoffman and their FreeState Justice colleagues also noted the ability for transgender Marylanders to more easily obtain official documents that correspond with their gender identity is another legislative priority.

Maryland since 2019 has allowed trans and non-binary people to receive a driver’s license with an “X” gender marker.

Hoffman said FreeState Justice will support bills that would allow Marylanders to change their name on their marriage certificate without a court order or getting divorced and remarry. FreeState Justice will also back a measure that would allow trans parents to amend their child’s birth certificate to accurately reflect their gender identity.

“We’re trying to clean that up to make one consistent policy that allows for trans folks to do this,” said Hoffman.

FreeState Justice Executive Director Jeremy LaMaster during the briefing noted another legislative priority is the Inclusive Schools Act, which would require Maryland public schools to implement a uniform non-discrimination policy through the state’s Department of Education. FreeState Justice Policy Coordinator Jamie Grace Alexander highlighted the organization will also urge lawmakers to expand access to PrEP and PEP in Maryland and to support legislation that would, among other things, prohibit housing incarcerated trans women with men.

“The conditions for transgender people — especially transgender women — while they’re incarcerated are extremely grim and dark,” said Alexander.

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Mother says teen boy charged with assault in girl’s bathroom at Va. school is straight

Earlier reports that Loudoun County student was gender fluid triggered backlash



Two sexual assaults by the same teen in Loudoun County schools attracted widespread media attention. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

In a little-noticed interview last November with the British online newspaper,, the mother of a 15-year-old boy charged with sexually assaulting a girl last May in the girl’s bathroom at a Loudoun County, Va., high school that the two students attended said her son identifies as heterosexual.

The May 28, 2021, sexual assault first surfaced in the news media in October at the same time law enforcement authorities disclosed that the boy allegedly sexually assaulted a girl on Oct. 6 in a vacant classroom at another high school to which he was transferred.

The disclosure of the two assaults triggered a furious backlash by some parents and conservative political activists against a Virginia school policy allowing transgender and gender fluid students to use the bathroom that conforms to their gender identity.

“First of all, he is not transgender,” the boy’s mother told in a Nov. 2 interview. “And I think this is all doing an extreme disservice to those students who actually identify as transgender,” the newspaper quoted her as saying.

The mother, who agreed to the interview on grounds that she was not identified to protect the identity of her son, said her son identifies as heterosexual and absolutely does not identify as female.

LGBTQ activists have said the backlash against both the Virginia state and Loudoun County transgender non-discrimination policies — which spread to school districts across the country that have similar policies — was fueled by what they have said all along was unsubstantiated claims that the boy was transgender or gender fluid.

Conservative activists who strongly oppose the school systems’ trans supportive bathroom policies have said it was those policies that enabled the 15-year-old boy, who police say was wearing a skirt at the time of the May 28 sexual assault incident, to enter the girl’s bathroom to target the girl.

Since that time, testimony in a Loudoun County Juvenile Court where the boy was being prosecuted revealed that the 14-year-old girl who brought the charges against him said she and the boy had two consenting sexual encounters in a girl’s bathroom at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Va., prior to the incident in which the boy allegedly assaulted her. 

According to the Washington Post, whose reporter attended one of the juvenile court hearings, the girl testified that she agreed to meet the boy in the girl’s bathroom after he requested a third sexual encounter there, but she told him she did not want to have sex at that time.

“The girl previously testified in court that the defendant threw her to the ground in the bathroom and forced her to perform two sexual acts on him after she told him that she was not interested in sex on that occasion,” the Post reported in a story last week about the final outcome of the case.

At a Jan. 12 sentencing hearing, Loudoun County Juvenile Court Chief Judge Pamela Brooks placed the boy on the Virginia sex offender registry for life, the Post reported. After ruling in an earlier hearing in November that the evidence confirmed that the boy was responsible for sexually assaulting the two girls, Brooks sentenced the boy to a residential treatment facility rather than a juvenile detention facility and required that he remain on probation until he turns 18, the Post reported.

“He’s a 15-year-old boy that wanted to have sex in the bathroom, with somebody that was willing,” the boy’s mother told “And they’re twisting this just enough to make it a political hot button issue,” she said.

In her interview with the newspaper, the mother said her son wasn’t gender fluid despite the reports, which she confirms, that he wore a skirt at the time of the first of the two sexual assaults.

“He would wear a skirt one day and then the next day, he would wear jeans and a T-shirt, a Polo or hoodie,” she told the newspaper. “He was trying to find himself and that involved all kinds of styles. I believe he was doing it because it gave him attention he desperately needed and sought,” she said.

The mother acknowledged in the interview that her son was deeply troubled, saying he had a long history of misbehavior, including sending nude photos of himself to a girl when he was in the fifth grade.

On Jan. 12, the same day as the boy’s sentencing hearing, Virginia House of Delegates member John Avoli (R-Stanton) introduced a bill calling for restricting the ability of transgender students from using bathrooms and other facilities in public schools that are consistent with their gender identity.

A separate bill introduced last month by Virginia State Sen. Travis Hackworth (R-Tazewell County) calls for eliminating the requirement that Virginia school districts adopt the state Department of Education’s nondiscrimination policies for trans and non-binary students.

Although Virginia’s newly inaugurated Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the GOP-controlled House of Delegates could move to advance the two bills, LGBTQ activists note that the state Senate remains in Democratic control and would block the two bills from being approved by the General Assembly.

Cris Candice Tuck, president of the LGBTQ group Equality Loudoun, told the Blade she expects opponents of LGBTQ nondiscrimination policies in the Loudoun County Public Schools and other school systems in Virginia to continue to use the sexual assault case of the Loudoun boy as a pretext to repeal LGBTQ and trans supportive policies. 

“We firmly believe it should have absolutely no bearing as the perpetrator was not transgender, non-binary, or gender fluid, and so that doesn’t apply to this policy at all,” Tuck said. “A single conviction of an individual who is not even part of the group in question is no reason to invalidate the rights and expose to potential violence the hundreds of students who identify as transgender or non-binary,” Tuck said in an email message.

“Currently, the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America, and hundreds of cisgender teachers, clergy, and coaches are embroiled in legal battles nationwide involving sexual molestation, rape, and abuse of children across the country that has been ongoing for decades,” Tuck said. “Yet no one is proposing restroom restrictions for any of those groups. A double standard cannot exist for the LGBTQ+ based on fear mongering, misinformation, and discrimination.”

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Anti-LGBTQ group claims Va. marriage amendment repeal will legalize polygamy

State Sen. Adam Ebbin rejected claim during committee hearing



census, gay news, Washington Blade
(Bigstock photo)

A representative of an anti-LGBTQ group on Tuesday said the repeal of Virginia’s constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman would pave the way for the legalization of polygamy in the state.

“There are some, at least, very legitimate concerns about whether this would actually legalize polygamy, among other forms of marriage,” said Family Foundation of Virginia Legal Counsel Josh Hetzler.

Hetzler made the comment during a Virginia Senate Privileges and Elections Committee hearing on state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria)’s resolution to repeal the Marshall-Newman Amendment. Ebbin, who is the only openly gay member of the Virginia Senate, in response to the claim noted polygamy is a crime under Virginia and federal law.

“I take offense to the Family Foundation’s characterization that this would allow polygamy,” said Ebbin. “This has nothing to do with polygamy, what this has to do with is equality.”

Carol Schall, who, along with her wife, Mary Townley, joined a federal lawsuit that paved the way for marriage equality in Virginia, and outgoing Equality Virginia Executive Director Vee Lamneck are among those who testified in support of the resolution. The committee approved it by a 10-5 vote margin.

Virginia voters approved the Marshall-Newman Amendment in 2006.

Same-sex couples have been able to legally marry in Virginia since 2014.

The General Assembly last year approved a resolution that seeks to repeal the Marshall-Newman Amendment. It must pass in two successive legislatures before it can go to the ballot.

Ebbin earlier this month told the Washington Blade he remains “hopeful” the resolution will pass in the Democratic-controlled state Senate. Prospects that the resolution will pass in the Republican-controlled state House of Delegates are far less certain.

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin before his election reiterated his opposition to marriage equality. Youngkin, however, stressed it is “legally acceptable” in Virginia and he would “support that” as governor.

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