On February 6, six Maryland senators introduced SB566, Family Law—Fundamental Parental Rights. On the same day, 32 Maryland representatives introduced HB666 in the Maryland House with the same title and content. This “cross introduction” allows the language to work its way through both houses simultaneously, reducing the chances of it running out of time in the second chamber.
These bills guarantee that “[a] parent has the fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, care, and welfare of the parent’s child” and that “[t]he State or a political subdivision of the state may nor infringe [these rights] unless the State or political subdivision demonstrates…that the…infringement is (1) necessary to achieve a compelling government interest; (2) narrowly tailored to achieve the compelling government interests; and (3) the least restrictive means to achieve the compelling government interest.”
These are terrific bills that will require that parental rights be treated as the fundamental constitutional rights that they are, as recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in a consistent string of cases dating back 100 years to Meyer v. Nebraska (1923).
On the day of the bills’ introductions, SB566 was referred to the Senate Committee on Judicial Proceedings and HB666 was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. HB666 is now scheduled for a hearing on February 22 at 1 p.m.
Today, we are asking you to contact your Maryland lawmakers and ask them to support SB566 in the Senate or HB666 in the House. If they are on the appropriate committee, ask them to call for a hearing and to vote the bill out of committee. If not, ask them to vote for the bill when it comes to the House or Senate floor, as appropriate.
Your message, which should be in your own words, can be as simple as this:
I am calling to ask my [representative to support HB666 / senator to support SB566], Fundamental Parental Rights. The vital role of a parent in the life of a child must be protected. It’s time for Maryland law to catch up with a hundred years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent and protect these rights with the respect they deserve. (If my senator is on the Committee on Judicial Proceedings, I ask him or her to call for a hearing on SB566 and to vote it out of committee.)
If you email your lawmaker, you might include this link to our video explaining why this legislation is so important: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cqRWQa6e28
Thank you for standing with us to protect children by empowering parents through common sense legislation like Hb666 and SB566 in the Maryland legislature.