Defending marriage as only between one man and one woman, Pastor David Whitney testified before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee of the Maryland General Assembly on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. He spoke in opposition of SB241, euphemistically-named the “Civil Marriage Protection Act.” His testimony is seen below:

SB 241: Civil Marriage Protection Act

Honorable chair, and Senators, my name is David Whitney; I am the Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church of Pasadena, Maryland and the Senior Instructor at Institute on the Constitution. I teach the only course available anywhere on the Maryland State Constitution, which each of you took an oath before Almighty God to uphold. I’d like to address the unconstitutional nature of SB241: Civil Marriage Protection Act. As the Constitution is the supreme law of the State of Maryland, any bill passed by the General Assembly and even signed by the Governor is not law if it violates the Supreme Law of the State of Maryland.

Maryland Declaration of Rights, Article 5a:

“That the Inhabitants of Maryland are entitled to the Common Law of England, and the trial by Jury, according to the course of that Law and to the benefit of such of the English statutes as existed on the Fourth Day of July seventeen hundred and seventy-six…” 

From Maryland’s Annotated Code regarding Common Law in Maryland:

“Maryland has historically and consistently disfavored repeal of common law by implication.” Walker v. State, 53 Md. App. 171 (1982).

What is the Common Law the Constitution refers to and how does that relate to SB 241? The Founders of our State looked to William Blackstone Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765) as the highest authority on the Common Law. Blackstone identifies three categories of Law:

Law of Nature: “…when He Created man, and endued him with free will to conduct himself in all parts of life, He laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that free will is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.

Revealed Law: “The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures.

Municipal Law, that which is adopted by civil government, must conform to the higher law of God: “Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws: that is to say, no human law should be suffered to contradict these.

Now those first two categories are declared to be the foundation of all law in these United States by the Declaration of Independence where we find the phrase “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” directly referring to Blackstone’s first two categories. So what does the revealed law that is the foundation of all Constitutional Law say regarding the definition of marriage? That it is only between one man and one woman. Therefore SB 241 is unconstitutional and furthermore strikes at the very foundation of law in Maryland. To pass this bill is to declare that the contract We the People entered into to form this civil government, that is the Maryland State Constitution, is now null and void.

Thus the people should act upon Article 6 of our Maryland Declaration of Rights, which states;

“Art. 6. That all persons invested with the Legislative or Executive powers of Government are the Trustees of the Public, and, as such, accountable for their conduct: Wherefore, whenever the ends of Government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the People may, and of right ought, to reform the old, or establish a new Government; the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”

I urge you to return an unfavorable report. Thank you.
(Pastor Whitney’s testimony ends here.)

From the Declaration of Rights (our State’s Bill of Rights) of the Maryland Constitution:

“WE, THE PEOPLE of the State of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty, and taking into our serious consideration the best means of establishing a good Constitution in this State for the sure foundation and more permanent security thereof, declare: Article 1. That all Government of right originates from the People, is founded in compact only, and instituted solely for the good of the whole . . .”

It would be no small thing for the Legislature to destroy the “compact”, or “contract,” which is our State Constitution, as Pastor Whitney pointed out to the Committee: “To pass this bill is to declare that the contract We the People entered into to form this civil government, that is the Maryland State Constitution, is now null and void.”

Legislators and citizens should understand our Maryland Constitution, its submission to the Laws of Nature and God’s Revealed Law, and its relationship to the Common Law of England and its protections afforded to the rights of the People. We recommend that everyone take our Maryland Constitution 2-Day accelerated course on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24-25, in Westminster, MD.

Pastor David Whitney
Pastor David Whitney
Rev. David Whitney has been teaching the Christian heritage and history of our country with Institute on the Constitution for over a decade where he serves as Senior Instructor. David is an Honors Scholar graduate from Rutgers University with a Masters Degree from Denver Seminary. A minister for 32 years, he is currently the Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church of Pasadena, Maryland. As an member of Clergy, Activist and Radio personality David has appeared in Washington Times, on Voice of America, Fox, ABC, NBC, CSPAN, BBC, and more...