A few hours ago, I had the pleasure of attending the bill signing ceremony for the Civil Marriage and Protection Act. This is the next battle in the fight for Civil Rights, and I am very proud that Maryland is now the 8th state in the country to legalize same sex marriage.
In clear terms, Governor O’Malley laid out why it was so important to lead on the issue of Marriage Equality:
“We are one Maryland, and we all want the same thing for our children –We want our children to live in a loving, committed, and caring home that is protected under the law. As one Maryland we came together around the principle of human dignity, and we are moving forward”.
This moment has been a long time in the making. People must understand that the fight has just begun. Opponents need only 56,000 voters to sign a petition in regards to getting the issue on the ballot in November, putting it in the hands of voters to decide. 56,000 signatures equals 3% of the voters in the state who cast a ballot in the 2010 gubernatorial race, which is not a huge bar at all to climb.
I’m committed to doing all I can to make sure that Marriage Equality will remain, and not be derailed by opponents of the legislation. Heather Mizeur, who was one of the leaders in the House of Delegates on the issue, also weighed in:
“Today we celebrate this historic moment and savor the sweet taste of equality on our lips. Tomorrow we roll up our sleeves and fight to defend this victory if it goes to a November ballot referendum”.
I intend to do the same and will continue fighting with like-minded legislators like Delegate Mizeur. If this goes before voters in November, I am confident that they will vote for equality, justice, and side with history on one of the most pressing and important civil rights issues of the day.