RFK's Daughter Announces Gay Marriage Support

Former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend joined other Catholics in backing same-sex marriage in Maryland.

UPDATE (4:07 p.m.)—Former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend—the eldest daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy—joined other Catholics in announcing her support for same-sex marriage in Maryland.

Townsend, of Towson, cited the famous speech made by her uncle, President John F. Kennedy, to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association prior to the presidential election in 1960, where he explained his Catholic faith would inform his decisions but that he wouldn’t be beholden to Rome.

"But he brought with him the understanding that while the church can’t tell you what to do, the values of the Catholic Church, the values of love and justice that we learn from our faith can influence what we do, and that’s what we’re doing here today," Townsend said.

Baltimore City Councilman William H Cole IV; Erma Dirkin, of Glen Arm; and Pat and Jenny Nugent, of Cambridge, joined her at a Marylanders for Marriage Equality news conference on Tuesday highlighting Catholic support for the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which will be voted on in Maryland on Nov. 6.

A 2011 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute reported that nationwide 52 percent Catholics support gay marriage. A poll of 504 residents conducted by Hart Research in late-July for Marylanders for Marriage Equality showed that 54 percent of voters favor same-sex marriage and 40 percent are opposed.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore emailed a statement from Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference, saying the church will not be swayed by polls, and claimed those who oppose same-sex marriage are subject to "intolerance and intimidation." 

"Fortunately, as has been shown time and again, we fully expect that the majority of Marylanders will uphold the true nature of marriage when they are free to voice their opinion in the privacy of the voting booth, depsite what the polls say," Russell said in the statement.    

Dirkin, 83, a self-described "cradle Catholic," said she was there to urge her fellow Catholics to vote their conscience and support same-sex marriage.

"To vote to uphold the civil marriage law, for all loving, committed gay and lesbian couples, we should be acknowledging in everyone, including my gay son, the inherent dignity and fairness due them as human beings," Dirkin said.

She said the church, her long service in ministering to the home-bound and as a scripture study leader taught her the importance of the "golden rule," which should be applied to same-sex marriage.

"What we’re debating here in Maryland is whether gay couples can go to the court house and get a marriage license. What churches decide to do, which marriages they decide to solemnize or not is up to them, and that’s the way it should be," Dirkin said. "I can guarantee you my late husband and I would not want anyone telling us we could not marry. It’s the golden rule again coming up, we should treat other people the way we wish to be treated."

Jenny Nugent said she and her husband had never paid much attention to gay or lesbian people before she started to take care of them as a nurse. She then saw gay people who had no support and had been ostracized by their families. She said seeing that had reinforced something she knew as a mother—that every child is special and deserves to live a full life, including marriage.

"I never want our son or any of our children to be alone in sickness or in health. I want each of them to have the security and joy of a family that they create, and for that family to have the legal protections that come with civil marriage," Jenny Nugent said. "That’s why, for myself as a Catholic, I’m going to vote my heart and my conscience and support marriage equality."

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Bart August 08, 2012 at 07:19 PM
We're all going to church now! Praise the Lord!
Dori August 08, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Oh, my. What awful parenting skills Ms. Townsend has-- no MTV. Harry, I have to admit it-- my parenting skills were just as bad, if not worse. We didn't even have CABLE at all when our kids were growing up. Instead, we had them watch "grabage" like musicals ("Singin' in the Rain," "The Music Man," Rodgers and Hammerstein, etc.), trash such as the stuff found on PBS, and an occasional "regular" TV show. (They still never call me during "Jeopardy!") And most shockingly, I didn't let them watch "Friends," either. It didn't have the values I wanted instilled in them. I've met Ms. Townsend a few times and find her to be a thoughtful, smart, and caring person. If you don't agree with her, fine. But if it's a choice between her parenting skills and her judgement and your, I'll take hers. Thanks for the fantastic giggle!
Dori August 08, 2012 at 08:09 PM
But, Laura, if you don't "try to tell [gay and lesbian people] how they should live their lives," then why are you trying to deny them the right to have their relationship legally recognized? You said, "I WAS insulted by the article when it said that those who "oppose" gay marriage will be subject to intolerance and intimidation." No, those who oppose marriage equality won't be subject to intolerance or intimidation. The article states that a representative of the Archdiocese CLAIMS that this will happen. She offers no proof, and indeed, I see no evidence anywhere that this is happening. Nobody will force you or your pastor to accept a gay marriage as valid in the eyes of your faith. The Marriage Equality Act is specifically written to allow clergy to refuse to perform such weddings. Gays and lesbians are simply asking for the right to live their lives with the partner of their choice and enjoy the legal rights that my husband and I (and your husband and you, if you're married) enjoy.
amark August 09, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Does this mean kkt will not be eating at chick fil a, LOL. This woman is such a joke she is the only democrat who couldn't win in this leftist state in 40 years so I doubt she is much of an asset on this issue.
Arbutus Town Crier August 09, 2012 at 03:34 AM
"For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed." John F. Kennedy's secret society speech on April 27, 1961 independence from the Vatican JKF had to separate himself from the Holy Roman Empire, the country Vatican POPE , Military Black Pope hates Free Speech and the AMERICAN Catholic that freely think and ask questions. The truth is 4th of July is Independence from the holy Roman Empire which ruled King George iii. Quotes About the Jesuit Order ("Society of Jesus") From Famous People http://www.scribd.com/doc/30408550/Quotes-About-the-Jesuit-Order-From-Famous-People I have met and can still contact people who lived thru WW2 become catholic or die! JS hated the freemasonry Freethinkers and was to be eliminated before the Jews. Remember the Catonsville 9? The JFK speech seal his fate
Laura Jackson August 09, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Hello Dori. I'm sorry; but, if you go back and read the article again, you will see the following: The Archdiocese of Baltimore emailed a statement from Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference, saying the church will not be swayed by polls, and claimed those who oppose same-sex marriage are subject to "intolerance and intimidation." See? The Executive Director of the Maryland Catholic Conference says that the Church will not be swayed by polls and, "CLAIMED THOSE WHO OPPOSE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE ARE SUBJECT TO 'INTOLERANCE AND INTIMIDATION.'" That was the line I was "insulted" by. I DO oppose same-sex marriage. So, this article says I am subject to "intolerance and intimidation." While I may be "intolerant," I am in no way intimidated by my beliefs. Again, I have "gay" friends. I do NOT tell them what they can and cannot do. I am NOT a minister. But, if I were, NO--I would NOT marry two people of the same sex. Who's the wife? Who's the husband? The Bible talks about marriage between two people (always referring to him/her; he/she; husband/wife). So, sorry, Dori. But, I am against two individuals of the same sex getting married. Suppose (just suppose) EVERYONE decided to do marry their own sex. The human race would end. Nobody would ever have children. When I said I will not tell gay people how to live their lives, I meant that; however, I will not go against my beliefs by voting that they can marry.
Laura Jackson August 09, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Dori--just to make another "similar" point: I also oppose people getting abortions. While I cannot stop others from getting an abortion, I would NEVER vote (if given the opportunity) to legalize abortions; and I certainly will vote AGAINST the taxpayers having to FUND abortions (as the President wants to impose an abortion surcharge on the taxpayers). Just because I cannot tell people what they can or cannot do (mainly because it's none of my business), I do have the right as an American citizen to vote, or not vote, for anything I choose. If people in America could do WHATEVER they wanted to do, there'd be no need for a President; no need for Congress; no need for ANY Government whatsoever; and no need to ever vote on any issue. However, I believe if we had THAT much "freedom," we would be no different than, say, Iraq or Iran. Look at how they live! I often wonder if the people over there need to add "roadside bomb insurance" to their auto policies. Just a pondering thought of mine.
Laura Jackson August 09, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Great point, amark! Honestly, if I were the owner of Chick-fil-A, I would take pictures of ALL the people who PROTESTED against me; then, I would continue opening restaurants all over the world (but have ALL of the protestor's pictures on the wall). And, if ANYONE of them came in to get something to eat, I would refuse to serve them. After all, the owner of any establishment has the right to refuse service to anyone he/she chooses. There! I said it! The owner of Chick-Fil-A has every right to voice his opinion. And, he has every right to close on Sundays (which has been another issue for many folks). My point: If you really hate Chick-Fil-A, then go and eat at McDonald's! It's just like the people who "complain" about what's on television. That kills me! If you do not like a particular show, then use that cute little invention (I believe it's called a remote control) and just change the channel. And, if you don't like ANYTHING that is on television, turn the darn thing off (or, better yet, don't buy one). ;D
Zoobie August 09, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Much to-do about nothing. No one will be swayed by this 'blog' one way or the other. What is intrinsically wrong is wrong today, tomorrow, ad "infinitum.". Polls can be slanted by those being polled, and by the pollster. KKT doesn't speak to My Catholic Faith, and never will, for "The smoke of satan has entered the Church" Pope Pius X. The Ballot Box will determine the outcome of this debate, and that's that!
Leslie Schildgen August 10, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Zoobie: You may be right about no one being swayed by this blog but this forum is a good instrument that stimulates conversation and helps us to understand each other's view.
Laura Jackson August 10, 2012 at 02:28 PM
So right! This "blog" will not change anyone's minds or their beliefs. It's just everyone expressing how they feel. It's interesting to see the comments anyway. BTW--Zoobie, doobie, doo--where are you. . . .? Sorry, I just saw, "Zoobie" and now I can't get the Scooby, Dooby, Do song out of my head. Oh--and watch out for the "grammar police." Leslie and I have been caught before by them in here. Just a head's up, Zoobie. It's, "much ADO about nothing" and not "much to-do about nothing." Thought I'd tell you before the grammar police come in here. LOL.
Leslie Schildgen August 10, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Laura: LOL
DHAMMER August 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM
If they want to get Married Let Them,just stop shoving it down our throats.Stop the Chic-Fil-a thing ,stop being Butt heads and stop acting like you're the only ones in the World with problems.If your Gay,your Gay!So What!!
Leslie Schildgen August 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Hey, Frank. . . is Darrell talking about throat rape?
Laura Jackson August 13, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Whoa, Darrell!!! Calm down there!! We are all in here expressing OUR opinions and OUR beliefs. It sounds as though you are quite "defensive" on the topic of gay marriage. If you choose to get married to another man, then go ahead. Do what you want to do. We are NOT shoving anything down your throat. If someone you know IS shoving something down your throat (or trying to), tell him you have a headache. Maybe he'll stop. LOL. As for Chick-fil-a, that company (the OWNER) has EVERY right in this world to voice his opinions! It's called Freedom of Speech. And, as the owner, he also has the right to CLOSE on Sundays for his religious beliefs. If you don't like "Chicken," then just do not eat there. You could always go to a Checkers and grab a "hot dog" or something. We're NOT being "butt heads," Darrell. Stop with the immature name-calling. And, why do you say, "Stop acting like you're the only ones in the World with problems." What does THAT statement have to do with the issue at hand? Nothing. And, you're right--if you're gay, you're gay. So what to those who are gay! If God doesn't like it (and I'm sure He does not--since it is a sexual sin), then those who choose this way of life will be judged by God one day. So stop being so defensive. Again--if someone is "shoving something down your throat," then just tell him to stop already. And, if he IS shoving something down your throat, I have to think he might just be "gay." :D
Leslie Schildgen August 13, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Laura: LOL
Laura Jackson August 13, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Couldn't help myself, Leslie. Hey--Darrell walked right into that one. And, I take absolutely NO responsibility for what comes out of my mouth. I, do, however, have TOTAL control about what goes INTO my mouth (or, especially, shoved down my throat). But, that's kind of "personal" now, isn't it?? Sorry; but, it IS God that gave me this "sense of humor." Too bad some people are way too serious in here, Leslie. LOL.
Leslie Schildgen August 13, 2012 at 03:12 PM
you are too much, Laura.
Leslie Schildgen August 13, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Darrell: The gays are always up in arms about this marriage issue because they are sick of being discriminated against. They want equal protection under the law which unfortunately is way too complicated to serve its practical purpose.
Laura Jackson August 13, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Leslie: Are you sure it's their "arms" that are always up? I thought it was some other part. I know; I know. Let me stop. :D
Leslie Schildgen August 13, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Dadof2 August 13, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Harry, Harry, Harry... you should be terribly embarrassed... Criticizing Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's parenting skills because her "poor" (elementary school-age) daughter was out of touch with the world because she wasn't allowed to watch MTV? LOL... thank you. That was hysterical. I really need that on a Monday afternoon lunch break. I have to presume you MEANT for that to be funny...
Laura Jackson August 13, 2012 at 06:08 PM
No, Dadof2--there's nothing wrong with KKT refusing to allow her children to watch MTV. But, I think her morals and values need to be looked at; while she "disapproves" of MTV, she does "approve" of same-sex marriage. So, I suppose if any children are in her home, the television cannot be on MTV; however, if two people (adults) of the same sex happen to be kissing in front of those same children, that would be okay with her??? Gee--I've seen MTV, and I don't remember seeing anything as "perverted" as two people of the same sex doing anything. Perhaps I missed something; or watched the wrong videos. hmmm.
Leslie Schildgen August 13, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Laura: Good point about KTT's non-acceptance of MTV but acceptance of gay marriage. I think KKT is going to run for governor and needs the gay vote. I hope I'm wrong thinking that her belief in gay marriage may not be genuine.
JCT August 21, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Why do the gays insist on calling their unions marriage ? Do they really need to antagonize the other 95% of the population who's support they need ? I feel it is being done to incite people rather then reconcile their abnormal behavior. Something like when children want attention. That's my opinion and i think the majority of others too.
Carol September 04, 2012 at 11:03 AM
Anything for a vote.
shoesmallshop September 05, 2012 at 01:22 PM
amount of gay people, driving so many of them into a closet of virtual segregation, and often living in a gay area to protect themselves.. Also the church, by attacking gay people / marriage equality does its share to make gay kids feel worthless, second class citizens. Accoridng to my nighbor, a psychologist, about 3000 gay kids commit suicide every year out of 8000 total kid suicides And no onehttp://www.shoesmallshop.com/ knows how many of the thousand or so suicides for unknown causes are of gay kids
shoesmallshop September 05, 2012 at 01:23 PM
tion, and often living in a gay area to protect themselves.. Also the church, by attacking gay people / marriage equality does its share to make gay kids feel worthless, second class citizens. Accoridng to my nighbor, a psychologist, about 3000 gay kids commit suicide every year out of 8000 total kid suicidess insist on calling their unions marriage ? Do they really need to antagonize the other 95% of the population who's support they need ? I feel it is being done to incihttp://www.shoesmallshop.com/te people rather then reconcile their abnorma
shoesmallshop September 10, 2012 at 03:01 PM
ons. The majority of his throws came in the first half until they had a 16 pint lead and then started running the ball with Gore. That's how football is played. How did everything go the niners way? TWe here have the best and most affordable . Football basketball clothing. Suit jerseys. Track suit!Everything.Inexpensive.Synthesis. This is the comprehensive trade websit http://www.shoesmallshop.com/ integrated comprehensive foreign trade website
Otto Schmidlap September 21, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Speaking of accidents of birth...if this dope had been born to regular folks she would have been laughed off the stage long, long ago. KKT for governor! Brendan Ayanbegayjo for Lt. Guv! By the way, how are her "Hispanish" lessons going?


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