Media Can't Disguise Disgust for Pro-Marriage Maryland Ruling

Most liberal media outlets reacted in similar fashion to today's major Maryland Court of Appeals ruling, which upholds the state's law defining marriage as one man-one woman. They presented it through the lavender lens of homosexual activism. 

CBS News' Web site ran this headline:

Maryland Court Upholds Gay Marriage Ban


Calling the law a “gay marriage ban” is as misleading as describing it as a “ban on polygamous marriage,” or a “ban on incestuous marriage” or perhaps a “ban on interspecies marriage.” For the record, the Court notes that neither the 1973 law nor the legislative debate at the time address “sexual orientation” nor any “gay” issue. All the law does is reiterate the fundamental nature of marriage for legal purposes. 

To liberal journalists, however, a law merely acknowledging the timeless definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is unacceptable.  Such a law must be depicted only as a negative, as a ban rather than an affirmation.

The CBS article itself was straightforward at the top, but devolved into passages like this:

Many of the plaintiffs have children, and they argue that their families are being denied the stability and legal protection that comes from having married parents.

Lisa Kebreau, 39, and her partner, Mikki Mozelle, 31, who live in Riverdale, have three children - ages 17, 2 and 20 months.

“We really wanted them to understand how normal and good their family is - that their family is just like any other family,” Kebreau said.


CBS quoted no pro-marriage spokesman in response who might have argued that kids deserve to have both a mother and a father. The story also did not explain the court's key finding that “sexual orientation” is not a civil rights class such as sex, race and ethnicity.

The Baltimore Sun ran this headline:

Court upholds Md. gay marriage ban

The story, a cardinal example of advocacy journalism, was devoted to homosexual activists and liberal jurists complaining about the ruling or vowing to create “gay marriage” by other means. Not a single pro-marriage spokesperson was quoted.

The Washington Post's article gave a more balanced account, but spent most of its ink criticizing the decision and discussing how to circumvent it. The opening sentence reflects the Post's bias, describing Maryland's marriage law as “the state's ban on gay marriage” and “the controversial law.”

In fact, the marriage law is not controversial, at least outside homosexual activist and liberal media circles. All 50 states have laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman (even Massachusetts, which still has no business issuing same-sex marriage licenses without a change in the law).

What is controversial is Baltimore Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdock's nutso January ruling striking the law down. Murdock wrote that the law violates a state constitutional provision guaranteeing equal rights. By her reasoning, any specific definition of a relationship or status could violate the rights of somebody who does not qualify.  Perhaps we should all be considered “doctors,” not just those folks who graduated from medical school.

The article by Post staff writers Eric Rich and John Wagner bristles with indignation and quotes homosexual activists about what to do next. Only one pro-marriage advocate is quoted, and she gets just 28 words. Maryland Assistant Attorney General Robert A. Zarnoch, who defended the state law, gets a couple of quotes, and the decision itself is quoted.  

But taken as a whole, with pro-gay quotes from the decision itself, a pro-gay judge's dissent and loaded arguments from homosexual activists, the Post article, as with other media coverage, might be summed up this way: 

“That ~!@#$!@ Court! Hey Maryland Legislators! Do Something!”

Robert Knight is director of the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the MediaResearchCenter.