Things are looking good for us in Maryland. After 9 hours of testimony last week where some minds were changed, the vote of 7 to 4 was better than we hoped.
EQUALITY MARYLAND APPLAUDS THE PROGRESS OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY LEGISLATION IN THE SENATE
Maryland’s LGBT Group Pledges to Keep up the Fight
ANNAPOLIS, FEBRUARY 17, 2011 - The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted 7-4 to favorably report the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act (SB 116) today. This legislation would end the exclusion of committed gay and lesbian couples from marriage. This is the first time the legislation has passed committee and is scheduled to be voted on by the Senate next week.
Statement from Long-Time Champion of LGBT Rights, Senator Richard Madaleno (District 18):
“It is time to provide equal rights under state law to all individuals, including same-sex couples, who seek a marriage license in Maryland. No one can argue that the capacity and bond of love is any different between heterosexual couples and same-sex couples. It is time that the rights already enjoyed by many who can obtain a marriage license in Maryland are enjoyed by all regardless of gender and sexual orientation. We moved one step closer to full marriage equality today."
Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Executive Director of Equality Maryland released the following statement upon hearing the vote count:
“This is a historic day for all loving and committed gay and lesbian couples throughout the Free State. For the first time in Maryland’s history, we’ve cleared the committee vote which has stalled efforts for marriage equality in previous years. "We know that momentum is swiftly moving for the same rights, responsibilities, and privileges to be extended to gay and lesbian couples through civil marriage. Very soon our families will be provided with the same respect and protections as all other families.
As we look toward the Senate vote, we urge all lawmakers to think about the love and commitment they share with their partners and extend those same rights to those of us who are looking for recognition of our love from Maryland.”