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04/19/2007


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...

Continue reading "Maryland Governor O'Malley Resisted Pressure from Baltimore Archbishop to Reject Marriage Equality" »


Maryland Governor O'Malley Announces Support for Marriage Equality Bill, Calls It 'Administration Priority'

Omalley

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley announced his support for a marriage equality bill in Maryland today at a press conference.

The Washington Post reports:

O’Malley (D), a Catholic who supported civil unions earlier in his political career, said a gay nuptials bill would be “one of the handful of bills that will be an administration priority” in January.

“At the end of the day, I think all of us need to look at this issue from the eyes of children of gay, committed couples and ask ourselves how one family could be protected less in the eyes of the law than another family,” O’Malley said at a news conference in Annapolis. “I don’t think that’s an injustice that can be allowed to stand.”

Last year, as a marriage equality bill passed through the state's legislature (it ultimately failed), O'Malley said he would sign such a bill if it came to his desk, but this is the first time that O'Malley has expressed outright support for a bill and said he would work to pass it.


Maryland Governor Will Sign Gay Marriage Bill If He Gets One

Last March, on a radio show, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley expressed his support for advice from attorney general Doug Gansler that the state should recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, and indicated the state was implementing it. 

Omalley On the same show yesterday, O'Malley went further, suggesting that he would sign a marriage equality bill should it be presented to him.

The WaPo reports:

O'Malley's remark came in response to a question from a caller on the station's "Ask the Governor" program about the future of gay marriage in Maryland.

"I don't have a crystal ball to predict how this goes," O'Malley said, "but I do know this: I know the people of our state well enough that for all of the differences and diversities of backgrounds and opinions, that all of us want to find a way to craft our laws in such a way that it treats people equally under the law."

O'Malley said he personally believes that allowing for civil unions would be the best way to reach a compromise in the legislature. But he added that "should the legislature find a way to reach that compromise in another way, I would sign a bill like that ... we need to find a way to support equal rights, and that is true when it comes to committed gay and lesbian couples and the unions in which they choose to enter and raise children and all the issues that go with that."

O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec cast the governor's comments as consistent with previous statements, saying the governor had said he would sign a gay marriage bill if and when it passes.

Now the legislature just needs to make that happen.


Maryland Governor O'Malley Backs Advice on Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages, Says State is Now Implementing It

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said on a WTOP radio show yesterday that he backs Attorney General Douglas Gansler's advice that the state recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, and said that the state is implementing the advice.

OmalleySaid O'Malley (my transcript):

"I think the attorney general gave us sound advice. In a nutshell, what he's saying is that the question is 'Should our state recognize contracts entered into in other jurisdictions?' And we always have in the past, and I believe not only is it the right legal advice, it's also the only practical way to go. I mean, with the unions being entered into in the District of Columbia there will no doubt be gay parents who are raising their children and in order to make sure that those children have all of the protections in law I think that Maryland has to recognize unions entered into in other states. And, uh, so I think that was the crux of the attorney general's advice. We're going to follow the advice. I think it was sound legal reasoning, good policy, and I know that he spent a lot of time on it. It was a pretty detailed opinion with tons of footnotes and historical annotations."

O'Malley is then asked, "Are state agencies as of right now, implementing that?"

O'Malley: "Yes. The attorney general's office is our lawyer so in every department, in every agency they have assistant attorney generals stationed there, and, uh, so that's the advice we'll follow."


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