Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Maryland and Marriage Equality

I love this state, fiercely.  I'm committed to keeping it a good place to live, and to making our laws good laws that treat people as they should be treated. 

All through the election, people said things like, "Maryland will be the next state to pass marriage equality."  They said, "this state is so blue, we should be ashamed that we haven't passed gay marriage yet."  To which I usually countered, "Have you seen our divorce laws? This state is so Catholic I'm surprised we have any kind of domestic partnership laws."

Anyway, I thought, going into this session, that these people were wrong.  That they didn't understand the state.  That Maryland would remain fundamentally backwards and homophobic on the issue of marriage equality and that we would slowly chip away at the conservative stalwarts by passing smaller laws that protected the rights of same-sex partners.  But a few days into session, I began to adamantly and truly and deeply hope that I had been wrong. 

People care more now, than they did just a few years ago, about marriage equality.  They have begun to understand the arguments that discrimination is wrong; that gay couples really are treated differently, and that gay marriage doesn't affect them but it does affect somebody that they love.  More people are more vocal in their support, and I began to become hopeful. 

I haven't written about this until now because this issue is simply too close to my heart.  I have friends who are gay who have recently gotten engaged.  I desperately want my state to make me proud, to let them be married here, to fundamentally do what is right by it's citizens.  To do that, we need your help. 

There are a few senators who are holdouts on Judiciary.  I have heard that Senator Rosapepe, from Prince Georges County, and Senator Conway, from Baltimore, are two of them.  The most effective way to change hearts and minds is to make a phone call or write an email.  You would be shocked at the way that constituent contacts are regarded - it's not like the federal level, where your contact doesn't really make a difference.  In Annapolis, every voter matters.  So if your senator is one of the holdouts on gay marriage, and you vote in their district, please call them today and tell them to vote for marriage equality.  Go to www.mdelect.com to find your elected officials if you aren't totally sure who they are.  Better yet, join me and the Young Dems of Maryland next Monday night to lobby in Annapolis for Marriage Equality.  Email me if you're interested. 

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the nudge: just sent an email to Senator Conaway!

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  2. I definitely would if I lived in your state. Good luck! I hope it passes! I wish it would in CA.

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