Maryland Introduces Bill to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage – Are Democrats Committed to Equality?

Timothy Kincaid

January 25th, 2008

maryland.jpgLegislators in both the State Senate and the House have introduced bills to remove the gender requirement in state marriage law.

More than a fourth of state lawmakers have signed up to sponsor a bill that would legalize same-sex marriages in Maryland, the measure’s proponents announced today.

Although the bills have substantial support, they are unlikely to succeed. The leadership in both houses oppose the bills.

Gov. Martin O’Malley and House Speaker Michael E. Busch have said that they prefer civil unions. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions.

Maryland’s legislature is predominantly Democrat with a 33 to 14 advantage in the State Senate and 103 to 36 in the House. The leaders of both chambers are Democrats, as is the Governor.

The efforts today can probably best be viewed as an inter-party squabble, an effort on the part of some Democrats to force the hand of their leadership.

Although in control, the Maryland Democrat Party has done nothing to advance the rights of gay couples. They sat back after the state Supreme Court declared that gay persons are not equal under the Maryland Constitution and decided that it was just too soon and they are just too busy to find some measure of protection that they could put in place.

This will be an interesting case to watch.

The AP is currently reporting on the frustration that many gay individuals are feeling over the lack of courage on the part of Democrat Presidential candidates to stand up for equality. They quote Bay Windows editor Susan Ryan-Vollmar.

“They’ve merely settled on what the Democrats have staked out as a safe, consensus position, just far enough ahead of where the party was in 2004 to give a sense of progress but not so far as to threaten Middle America,” Ryan-Vollmar wrote. “That’s not leadership, it’s poll-tested and party-approved pandering, pure and simple.”

And some gay writers are starting to question whether Barack Obama’s flirting with the anti-gay black vote by embracing ex-gay Donnie McClurkin was all that accidental in light of his endorsement by Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell. Even his language used on Martin Luther King’s birthday which was often described as supportive of gay people spoke of “embracing” gays but not necessarily supporting their cause. Those of us familiar with anti-gay religious dogma are weary of “embracing” and “loving” that is not coupled with support for civil equality.

Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee is being sued for anti-gay discrimination. Documentation released seems to suggest that the DNC may assume that it own the gay vote while showing contempt for the gay voters. (Queerty has a good synopsis)

As we told you earlier, a poll of Marylanders by the Baltimore Sun demonstrated that they overwhelmingly support civil unions or marriage for gay couples. So the legislature leaders cannot claim that the will of the people is not behind couple recognition.

In is into this sense of uncertainty that this bill is being introduced. And the Maryland marriage vote may well become a ‘put up or shut up’ moment. If the Democrats in the Maryland legislature defeat marriage equality without putting in place civil unions, gay men and women may become so disheartened that they question how much energy they wish to place in advancing candidates of a Party that takes them for granted. Gays may begin to ask if being “a bit better than the Republicans” is enough.

See also:
Blade Asks What Happened In Maryland
Maryland Passes Limited Rights for Gay Couples
Maryland Balances Budget by Taxing Gay Widows
Maryland Senator Muse Champions Bigotry
Maryland AG Endorses Marriage Equality
Maryland Legislator Calls Anti-Gay Bluff
Maryland Introduces Bill to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage – Are Democrats Committed to Equality?
Maryland Marriage Poll

Jim Burroway

January 25th, 2008

Given some of the rhetoric coming from the Republican candidates, I think “bit better” doesn’t quite measure the chasm.

Of course, just yesterday I posted on John Gibson’s non-apology “apology,”
so I guess we’re even ;-)

Seriosly, there’s a lot of educatin’ to do on both sides, sadly.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.