Marriage Equality Push to Relaunch in Maryland Using Lessons Learned in New York

There's little doubt that New Yorkers for Marriage, the coalition of LGBT groups which formed last April to coordinate the successful push for marriage equality in New York, achieved the success it did because the groups worked as a united force, and that appears to be what is going to happen in Maryland now.

Maryland At a press conference today, a push to win marriage equality in Maryland will be restarted, with the announcement of a similar coalition group, Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the WaPo reports:

The coalition, which plans to announce its effort at a press conference Tuesday in Baltimore, will be guided by a staff member on loan from the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay-rights organization that is still celebrating passage of same-sex marriage legislation in New York, which became the sixth state where gay couples can marry.

Other members of the Maryland coalition include the state’s largest gay-rights lobby, Equality Maryland; the national group Freedom to Marry; the left-learning organization Progressive Maryland; labor unions Service Employees International Union and Communications Workers of America; and the American Civil Liberties Union.

As you may recall, a push for marriage equality in Maryland failed in March as anti-gay and religious groups like NOM stepped up their opposition, instilling doubt in several lawmakers who had promised "yes" votes on the measure.


  1. ohplease says

    And still it’s a mystery as to why they didn’t do it right the first time. Why have all other LGBT groups that have taken on marriage equality in every other state where this has happened failed before NY? Even NY failed the first couple times around.

    We all know what the other side’s strategy will be, we all know what lies they will tell, we all know how they operate — hell, by this time, we could recite you their playbook in our sleep! — so why is it that only now are LGBT groups who appoint themselves the leaders in this fight getting it right?

  2. K in VA says

    Sounds good, as far as it goes.

    But the critical factor in New York was a governor and legislative leaders willing to do whatever it took to get a bill passed.

    In Maryland, no matter IF (a big if!) all the groups can control their egos and work together, it will all still come to nought if the politicos aren’t firmly committed.

  3. Robert says

    Of course, there will be a ballot initiative. Such initiatives should be banned if the legislature votes to support marriage equality. Going through the courts isn’t the way especially where ballot initiatives are allowed to overturn laws. I’m surprised there isn’t a movement to put an initiative on the ballot to remove the tax-exempt status of any religious denomination meddling in the political process and another to force NOM to disclose its donor list. That would surely piss them off.

  4. petrof says

    There’s still some big differences from New York where they had big bucks behind a year long publicity campaign and a commitment from the powerful Republican NY mayor. I don’t see that happening yet in MD (or Maine for that matter). A coalition of left-leaning groups will not cut it in this harsh political environment.

  5. Bruno says

    I think the Maryland Senate Dems are PISSED that the equality groups let the House vote slip through their fingers last time around. It’ll be twice as tough getting them to vote for it again I’d say. And yeah, it’ll all end up on the ballot anyway and poll numbers are shaky.

  6. BillyBoy says

    Re OHPLEASE “every other state”:

    In Massachusetts, following the court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the forces against same-sex marriage mounted a campaign to put the issue to a popular vote. It was defeated by a concerted and united lobbying effort. When all the lobbying was over, the anti-gay-marriage forces were unable to get enough of the legislature to vote for a referendum, and they only needed 25%.

    Then a second lobbying campaign won the repeal of an old law that issued marriage licenses only to people whose marriages would be recognized in their home state.

    So it can be done. Without huge amounts of money or celebrity ads. Old fashioned one-on-one lobbying and a very visible gay community.

  7. DB says

    Please be sure to include the Maryland Council of Churches and the various pro-marriage Christian churches such as Episcopalians, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, etc. It is extremely important to have highly visible support for marriage from Christian denominations (just as the anti-marriage side will incite Fundamentalist religious groups).

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