Gay marriage advocates took to Baltimore City Hall July 12 to revive the same-sex marriage debate with the announcement of a new coalition, which plans to lobby the measure during next year’s General Assembly session.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality includes a handful of progressive activist groups, including Equality Maryland, an LGBT lobbying group; Progressive Maryland, a liberal nonprofit; Catholics for Equality, a Catholic civil rights organization and the Maryland Black Family Alliance, a coalition that advocates for “fairness, justice and equality for all families.”
“While the Civil Marriage Protection Act was sent back to Rules Committee in the 2011 legislatives session, the bill moved further than ever before,” Equality Maryland said in a statement. “In Maryland, we’re on the verge of true equality and Equality Maryland commits to the fight to bring full equality in the 2012 legislative session.”
The group’s formation comes just weeks after gay marriage was green-lighted in New York. The polarizing same-sex marriage bill cleared the Maryland Senate, but came shy a few key votes in the lower chamber this year.
Opponents said the alliance that successfully “upheld the time-honored definition of marriage in Maryland remains intact” will continue to fight the measure in the 2012 session.
“Maryland is not New York,” the Maryland Catholic Conference said in an issued statement. “During the 2011 session, Maryland lawmakers chose not to redefine marriage because they listened to their Maryland constituents and stood by their deeply-held moral convictions. While the New York legislature may have taken a different course, they did so knowing the people of New York – unlike Maryland – have no recourse to taking a law redefining marriage to a statewide vote.”