As Senate Panel Prepares for Hearing on Marriage Equality Bill, Anti-Gay Activists Mobilize for Rally

Anti-gay activists are mobilizing for a rally today opposing the marriage equality bill pending in the Maryland legislature, WMAL reports:

Omalley"Voting constituents across Maryland are coming in, in vans and busses to stand for the definition of marriage in Maryland state law," Derek McCoy of the Maryland Marriage Alliance told "The governor's wife called anyone who stands up against same sex marriage cowards, which I think is appalling," he said. "No one ever said gay marriage is wrong.  I'm just standing for what the current definition of marriage is," said McCoy.

Maryland First Lady Katie O'Malley said she regretted her remarks on Friday. Her husband attempted to "wmooth over raw feelings" in a speech to the Creating Change NGLTF conference in Baltimore over the weekend, the AP reports:

O’Malley, a Democrat who has made same-sex marriage legislation a priority this year, closed out his remarks at the 24th National Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality by underscoring the need for using compassionate rhetoric. The governor said it’s important not to let passionate views prompt people to use “words of hurt, rather than words of healing.”

“Laws matter, but words also matter, and if compassion and understanding and justice are what we want, then we must choose laws and we must choose words of compassion, understanding and of justice,” O’Malley said.

There is a Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing on the marriage equality bill this Tuesday.

GanslerAttorney General Doug Gansler told a standing-room only crowd at a church in Frederick yesterday that he would be testifying, MetroWeekly reports:

Gansler called Maryland's current ban against same-sex marriage "unconstitutional." He then explained his reasoning for supporting equality for gay and lesbian couples. Gansler also offered his take on the nature of negative feedback from Republicans and religious leaders. And he predicted that the current marriage bill would pass but, he warned, supporters will need to make a significant effort to vote against an inevitable anti-gay referendum, saying: "That's where we're really going to need your help."