Maryland Governor O’Malley Resisted Pressure from Baltimore Archbishop to Reject Marriage Equality

In late July, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, a Catholic, came out in support of marriage equality in that state, declaring it an "administration priority".

Omalley Newly released letters show that O'Malley was pressured by Edwin F. O’Brien, the archbishop of Baltimore, to resist endorsing same-sex marriage because it, O'Brien said, "deeply conflicts with your faith."

Added O'Brien: "Preserving the central role of the natural family unit has always been — and should continue to be — the reason why our government recognizes marriage as existing between one man and one woman...Maryland is not New York. We urge you not to allow your role as the leader of our state to be used in allowing the debate surrounding the definition of marriage to be determined by mere political expediency. The people of Maryland deserve no less.”

Said O'Malley in reply: "As a free and diverse people of many faiths, we choose to be governed under the law by certain fundamental principles or beliefs, among them ‘equal protection of the law’ for every individual and the ‘free exercise’ of religion without government intervention...Other states have found a way to protect both these rights. So should Maryland...I have concluded that discriminating against individuals based on their sexual orientation in the context of civil marital rights is unjust. I have also concluded that treating the children of families headed by same-sex couples with lesser protections under the law than the children of families headed by heterosexual parents, is also unjust.”

Read both letters, AFTER THE JUMP...


O Malley's letter:

080411 Om Alley Letter