Marylanders for Marriage Equality Launches Unified Campaign to 

Pass Marriage Equality in 2012

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, state officials join coalition kick off



June 12, 2011

Contact: Rion Dennis, Progressive Maryland, 301.437.9006
Melissa Goemann, Legislative Director, ACLU of Maryland, 410.889.8550 ext. 129

BALTIMORE - Just weeks after marriage equality became law in New York, a unified and diverse coalition today launched Marylanders for Marriage Equality aimed at securing the votes necessary for passage of a civil marriage equality bill in the 2012 legislative session. All loving, committed couples in Maryland should have the freedom to marry.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality includes Progressive Maryland - a statewide coalition of representatives from over 50 religious, community, and labor organizations - Equality Maryland, 1199 SEIU, CWA, the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, Catholics for Equality, the Maryland Black Family Alliance and Pride in Faith.

"The basic thread of any family is love, and Maryland should honor that love and the commitment of the thousands of gay and lesbian families who are seeking what we all seek: to protect our families," said Progressive Maryland Executive Director Rion Dennis.

"We're proud to be working with such a broad and diverse coalition of groups to secure marriage equality in Maryland" said Lisa Polyak, chair of Equality Maryland.

Present at the coalition's launch were several influential religious leaders, including Bishop Douglas Miles, pastor of Koinonia Baptist Church in Northeast Baltimore, and Rev. Denis Wiley of Covenant Baptist Church. Wiley, a Prince George's County resident, draws a significant number of residents from Prince George's Country to his church.

"While there are many social justice issues my congregants face, I feel compelled to include this issue, the issue of civil marriage equality, as one we work to tackle from a faith perspective," said Rev. Wiley. "Some of the strongest families I've seen in my congregation are families headed by same-sex couples. They should be able to go to city hall and get a marriage license."


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