Census Data Underscore Need for Marriage Equality in Maryland
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 11, 2011
BALTIMORE - Today the U.S. Census Bureau released data showing a 50% increase in the number of gay and lesbian couples living in Maryland compared to a decade ago. About 17,000 same-sex couples, many raising children, live in the state.
"Given the new numbers, it's hard deny these thousands of couples access to the protections of marriage," said Melissa Goemann of the ACLU-Maryland. "It is time for the state to do the right thing for all Maryland families and vote to extend the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples."
The 2010 Census data show Montgomery County and Baltimore City each have about 2,900 gay and lesbian couples, while Baltimore and Prince George's County each have about 2,400.
"I am proud to see that tens of thousands of gay and lesbian couples have made Maryland their home, and that Baltimore has the highest percentage of same-sex couples." Pat Lippold, Vice President for Political Action at 1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers East in Baltimore. "All the more reason they should have the opportunity to get a marriage license."
Last month Governor Martin O'Malley (D-MD) announced that marriage equality legislation would be one of his priorities that he moves through the Legislature next year. A majority of Marylanders (51%) support loving, committed gay and lesbian couples to marry.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality is a united and diverse coalition, including Progressive Maryland, 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland, Equality Maryland, the Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Pride in Faith.