Marylanders for Marriage Equality Hails Governor O'Malley's
Leadership on Marriage Equality
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | July 22, 2011
BALTIMORE - Today Governor Martin O'Malley (D-MD) announced that marriage equality legislation will be part of the legislative package he moves through the Maryland Legislature next year. The legislation would enable loving, committed gay and lesbian couples to obtain a state-issued marriage license.
"Today the Governor showed real leadership and commitment to bringing civil marriage equality to Maryland," said Pat Lippold, Vice President for Political Action at 1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers East in Baltimore. "Marriage equality is a mainstream issue that enjoys the support of a majority of Marylanders."
"Gay and lesbian couples should be able to make a lifetime commitment-both for themselves and their families," said Rion Dennis, executive director of Progressive Maryland, a statewide coalition of representatives from over 50 religious, community, and labor organizations.
Last week, Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a united and diverse coalition made up of labor, religious, civil rights, and LGBT groups, launched a stepped-up effort to build on the recent momentum for marriage equality. The coalition includes Progressive Maryland, 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Communications Workers of America (CWA), American Federation of State, County Municipal Employees (AFSCME), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland, Equality Maryland, the Human Rights Campaign, Pride in Faith, Maryland Black Family Alliance, and Catholics for Equality.
"We thank Governor O'Malley for making marriage equality one of his legislative priorities, and look forward to amplifying the many voices all over the state who believe this is the right thing to do," said Marty Rouse, Field Director for the Human Rights Campaign.
"Today is a great day for the movement for fairness and equality for all Marylanders," said Melissa Goemann, Legislative Director for the ACLU of Maryland. "We are deeply grateful to Governor O'Malley for stepping to up take a leadership role in advocating for the right of same-sex couples in Maryland to marry. Support for the right to marry is growing in Maryland and around the country, and with the governor's sponsorship and our growing coalition, we are hopeful that equality can soon be realized in Maryland."
Earlier this year the marriage equality bill took a giant step forward. It was passed through the Senate and debated in the House of Delegates. A January Gonzales Research poll showed a majority of Marylanders (51 percent) support marriage equality. A recent Washington Post poll registered a plurality of marriage equality supporters.