This post was originally written for Maryland Politics Watch by Equality Maryland board member David Lublin.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has successfully reengaged with his eponymous band. On the public politics of same-sex marriage, not so much.
Gov. O'Malley is having a tough time explaining why New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was able to get same-sex marriage passed when the same effort fell short in Maryland. Here are the explanations the Governor has offered:
From the Baltimore Sun:
O'Malley said his decision to work behind the scenes, rather than pushing the bill as Cuomo did, was strategic.
"If I thought [making gay marriage part of his administration's legislative agenda] would have helped rather than hurt its chance of passage, I'd have done it," O'Malley said Monday.
But he concluded that higher visibility, he said, "would have kicked it into the gutter of partisan division."
On Washington's NBC-4:
"In New York they were very fortunate to have garnered bipartisan support for the equality initiative,” he said. “Last session we came up a couple of votes short and unfortunately we did not have a single Republican vote for Marriage Equality."
Last Friday, the Empire State passed marriage equality and Governor Cuomo has already courageously signed it into law. 26 days from today loving and committed couples in New York will be able to get married.
Here in Maryland, we are the next stop on the road to marriage equality and we need your help to get there. There are only 358 miles that separate Albany, NY from Annapolis, MD, but it currently seems that we are worlds apart.
With the tremendous momentum reverberating out of New York right now, we have the capacity to redouble our efforts in Annapolis - but we need your help!
Equality Maryland is launching our Road to Marriage Equality, a fundraising drive where we are asking our supporters to adopt one or more miles between Albany, NY and Annapolis, MD, for $10 per month until we have marriage equality.
These monthly funds are crucial in our efforts to change the hearts and minds of legislators across the state, grow our organization, and keep the pressure on in Annapolis.
Will you join us by adopting a mile or more for $10 per month until we make marriage equality a reality here in Maryland?
Equality Maryland can't travel this road alone. Join us today and make a difference for all loving and committed gay and lesbian couples in Maryland.
This article was written by Reid Epstein for the Politico.
Gay marriage advocates now hope the famous Sinatra song about New York rings true: If you made it there, they can make it anywhere - or at least in a handful of other states.
The New York triumph for gay rights supporters, led by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, provides a roadmap for victory for groups in other states, said Michael Cole-Schwartz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-gay marriage group.
Just now, New York voted in favor of extending the freedom to marry to loving and committed couples in the Empire State. By a vote 33 in favor to 29 opposed, New York becomes the sixth state, plus the District of Columbia, to extend to loving and committed gay and lesbian couples the same respect, responsibility and recognition that only marriage provides.
“Equality Maryland looks toward the future of marriage equality as New York becomes the sixth state, along with the District of Columbia, to recognize gay and lesbian couples as full and equal citizens. It’s time that Maryland joins the ranks of states who favor marriage equality for all loving and committed gay and lesbian couples.
While the Civil Marriage Protection Act was sent back to Rules Committee in the 2011 legislatives session, the bill moved further than ever before. In Maryland, we’re on the verge of true equality and Equality Maryland commits to the fight to bring full equality in the 2012 legislative session.”
This post comes from Karess Taylor-Hughes, one of Equality Maryland's Field Organizers. This past week, she was summoned to New York State, where they are actively fighting for marriage equality. With only a few days left in the battle for marriage in New York, much of the work Karess put into training volunteers, encouraging canvassers, and working on making enough of an impact that legislative offices that New Yorkers support marriage heard, we hope to see a vote for marriage equality. While we advanced the marriage bill farther than ever before this past legislative session, Karess's efforts and knowledge of the marriage movement made a direct impact in New York. Read about her experience, below.
This past week I spent my time in my home state of NY. The National LGBT Task Force had asked for Equality Maryland Field staff to join the New York team for a few days to help train and develop new canvassers and volunteers who had little experience running a marriage campaign. It's surprising to know that EQMD's field staff is considered highly experienced and ready to help other campaigns when marriage battles become heated.