Today, the Maryland State Senate voted 25-22 to pass the Civil Marriage Protection Act that was passed last week by the House of Delegates, sending the bill to Governor O’Malley to be signed into law. As a sponsor of last year’s bill, I deeply believe that providing same-sex couples the same rights as their opposite sex counterparts is one of ensuring that all people are viewed as equal. As Frances Wright said, "Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it."
One can see the love that same-sex couples have, and the love that children of same sex couples have in their families. Their love is no different than the love in any other family. There are over 400 laws on our books that discriminate against that family. This bill ends the state-sanctioned discrimination that these families face. Same-Sex Marriage is the civil rights issue of our generation, and I am proud of all those who have worked tirelessly on this issue.
45 years ago this month, the Senate of Maryland voted to repeal the ban on interracial marriage. Today, we voted to provide equal civil rights to another subset of our population. I hope that in future generations, Marylanders look back on today and applaud us for making civil rights a priority and ensuring that all families in Maryland are protected in the eyes of our government. I hope they will look back and see this as a vote for the greater good.
You can click here and choose Thursday, February 23, 2012, Session # 3 in the drop down box on the left to listen to the entire debate and vote.