Maryland First Lady Katie O’Malley Apologizes for Labeling Marriage Equality Opponents ‘Cowards’

Maryland's First Lady Katie O'Malley apologized today for remarks she made at NGLTF's 24th annual Creating change Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality on Thursday night.

KatieomalleyO'Malley was speaking about the marriage equality bill that failed to pass in Maryland last year, reportedly veering from prepared remarks to lash out at lawmakers who voted against it:

"There were some cowards that prevented it from passing."

Today, O'Malley said she "let my feelings get the better of me":

“I deeply respect that there are strongly held and differing views on marriage equality in Maryland but hope that our state’s elected officials will come together to fairly address this important issue for our families and children."


  1. KP says

    Ugh, don’t apologize Katie. There were plenty of cowards who went back on their word last year in MD. They should feel ashamed and you should not have to apologize for calling them out.

  2. Patric says

    She’s not only Baltimore’s First Lady. She’s Maryland’s First Lady, and she was right the first time.

  3. Michael Bedwell says

    PARDON MY FRENCH, but this is just goddamn pathetic….even when not compared to Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s courageous denunciation of voting on people’s rights. Translation: the cowards she referred to have now bullied her into becoming one herself. I’m guessing, too, that her word choice had to do with knowing that some who voted against marriage equality didn’t actually oppose it themselves. But, yes, she should have added “Bigots” for those who did. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

  4. Mike says

    @Hank… I was going to say the exact same thing… actually though they could be one or the other… Bigots if they didn’t believe in marriage equality, Cowards if they did and voted against it… either way though she shouldn’t have apologized – she should have just given that clarification…

  5. Randy says

    She should not have apologized. Most of the opposing side ARE cowards, because cowardice is inherent in bigotry, and in enabling bigotry.

  6. Mike says

    One more comment, her apology is lame and as others have mentioned now she is a coward…

    “I deeply respect that there are strongly held and differing views on marriage equality…”

    Really? This just pisses me off… so she “deeply respects” bigots? Pitiful!

  7. Jack M says

    She apologized so her husband doesn’t get so much flak. But, of course, she was right the first time, and calling them cowards was mild.

  8. The Milkman says

    Katy, I think the term you were going for was “bigots”.

    Thank you, though, for your support. I knew what you meant. :)

  9. FunMe says

    I’m OK with her apologizing. It just gives attention TWICE to the fact that those who oppose marriage equality are COWARDS.

  10. Diego says

    She should not have to apologize. She was within reason to call out those that opposed discrimination but failed to act accordingly. However, this does say a lot about the political power of women in politics. Some of the comments over at WaPo are pretty vile, misogynistic, and likely shared by her husbands colleagues.

  11. Michaelandfred says

    Of course she was right, but I’m guessing she apologized so it wouldn’t jeopardize the current push for equality, not because she’s a coward. If she has to swallow some pride and “apologize” to not tank this bill, good for her.

  12. jdb says

    Tact. It’s quite possible to call someone a coward without being tactless, which is her only crime here.

    For example, you could say that “cowards” helped defeat marriage equality, or you could say that the bill failed because those who lacked the moral courage and integrity to stand up for their fellow citizens allowed justice to be derailed that day.

    Quite honestly, the second version is a deeper insult, but gives opponents no easy soundbite with which to derail current efforts to pass marriage equality.

  13. Jack says

    Katie O’Malley was right to apologise. Name calling is out of control in our national political discourse. I agree with her on the issue. However, we should all stick to debating the issues. Katie and Martin O’Malley are two of the many reasons I am proud to be a third generation Irish-American.

  14. jamal49 says

    No, honey, you got it right the first time. They’re COWARDS. They’re also bigots. No need to apologize but such is life in a border state, I guess.