Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod Assembly Publically Supports Maryland Civil Marriage Protection Act, the Uniting American Families Act, Support for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS, and the Maryland DREAM Act
Met in assembly on April 27-28, by majorities greater than two-thirds, the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod passed individually resolutions in support of the Maryland Civil Marriage Protection Act, in support of the Uniting American Families Act, advocating care and support for persons living with HIV and AIDS, and supporting in-state tuition for Maryland immigrant youth (SB 167 - the DREAM Act).
On the Maryland Civil Marriage Protection Act, the assembly called for welcome, care for, and support of same-gender couples and their families, as well as advocacy for their legal protection. Further, the assembly commended the governor and legislature of Maryland for extending the protections of marriage to all couples, while protecting freedom of religion and the freedom of congregations and pastors to act in accord with their consciences. Most importantly, the assembly stated its support of the law as enacted and its opposition to repealing the act (such an action will be offered by referendum on the Maryland ballot in November).
On the Uniting American Families Act, the assembly directed the synod bishop to communicate with the President of the United States and the members of Congress serving the territory of the synod, asking them to co-sponsor, support, and press for passage of this act as part of inclusive, comprehensive immigration reform that ends the long-standing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender immigrant families. Under current law, U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents are permitted to sponsor his/her spouse, child or parent for immigration but not their same-gender partners.
On persons living with HIV and AIDS, the assembly encouraged the congregations of the synod to create educational and worship activities highlighting the World AIDS Conference and the Interfaith Preconference being held in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. Further the resolution urged the bishop of the synod to attend those events, as well as the Interfaith Prayer Service at the National Cathedral. Among other things, the assembly encouraged the synod's congregations to conduct worship services of healing, to distribute educational materials about prevention, and to encourage everyone to be tested for the presence of HIV.
The assembly also supported the 2011 Maryland law, SB 167, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, that assured undocumented children bought into the country before the age of 16, who are graduating from Maryland high schools and can demonstrate that they or their parents have paid Maryland taxes, that they will be charged in-state tuition rates when attending a Maryland community college. The assembly also stated its opposition to repealing that act (such an action is being put to the voters in Maryland by referendum on the ballot in November 2012).
Director Communications LC/NA