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August 8, 2011

O'Brien urged O'Malley against backing gay marriage

In the days before Gov. Martin O’Malley came out in support of same-sex marriage, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien privately urged him against “promoting a goal that so deeply conflicts with your faith.”

“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,” the archbishop wrote to the governor in a letter dated July 20.

Two days later, O’Malley said he would introduce legislation next year to allow gay couples to marry.

“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,” O’Malley said. “Other states have found a way to protect both these rights. So should Maryland.”

A same-sex marriage bill cleared the state Senate this year, but it was pulled from the House floor after vote-counters determined they were a few delegates shy of a majority. With O’Malley’s active support, backers are hopeful of success next year.

O’Malley, who is Catholic, opposed same-sex marriage when he first ran for governor in 2006. He said at the time that he had been “raised to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

His announcement last month came weeks after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that made New York the sixth state to allow gay couples to marry — and enjoyed a boost in his national profile.

“I am well aware that the recent events in New York have intensified pressure on you to lend your active support to legislation to redefine marriage,” O’Brien wrote, in a letter released Monday by the governor’s office.

“Maryland is not New York,” O’Brien wrote. “We urge you not to allow your role as leader of our state to be used in allowing the debate surrounding the definition of marriage to be determined by mere political expediency.”

O’Malley responded to O’Brien last week. In a letter dated Aug. 4 and released by his office on Monday, he listed the many areas in which they agree, including efforts to eradicate poverty, support for a progressive income tax and opposition to the death penalty.

“But on the public issue of granting equal civil marital rights to same sex couples, you and I disagree,” O’Malley wrote.

“As governor, I am sworn to uphold the law without partiality or prejudice. When shortcomings in our laws bring about a result that is unjust, I have a public obligation to try to change that injustice.”

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 9:06 PM | | Comments (11)


You mean _O'Brien_ urged _O'Malley_ against gay marriage. The headline implies that the governor was against gay marriage, which the story clearly shows to be false.

Nice going, Governor O'Malley! As a catholic I'm proud of you.

Nice going, Governor O'Malley! As a Roman Catholic I am proud of you. Thanks for standing up for justice for all.

Who woke O'Malley outta that coma he was in? Not much of a leader, more of a follower I presume.

In honor of Cardinal O"Brien's "Maryland is not New York" moral insensitivity, please rename this blog site "Bad Faith" to best represent the Cardinal's position...this logic would have been much appreciated by slave holders of the AnteBellum South.

This level of hierarchy also continues to obfuscate and muddle through the child sex scandals, so consider the source.

But isn't it the pot calling the kettle black? frankly, I am more shocked at the old-boy network of cronies protecting their own.

what hypocrites.

Why introduce the Red Herring of the child abuse scandal? That has nothing to do with the subject other than to do what you accused O'Brien of doing.

A classic example of the conflict between modern values for individual rights and values that maintain unnecessary distinctions between men and women. Go Governor O'Malley!

I Manuel Ringgold feel that any one that pass this same sex marriage! Is killing America slowly! How do we grow as a country if we allow this to happen? I know people may say cloning, but cloning make a kid wondering who is my real mommy or daddy! not healthy for a kids mind America future is coming to the end of it's time!
God Please Bless Americia!

keep going you same sex marriage supporters, but what about the younger generation. what they gonna do in future if they run short of opposite sex people.
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Sorry to be so late to the party, but I just saw Mr Mohammad's comment .... and I had to respond.

Mr Mohammad, I seriously doubt the legalization of same-sex civil marriage will do very much to the birth rate. Straight folk (and some Gay folk) will keep on making babies ... and those babies will be straight and Gay in the same proportion we've seen for eons. Not to worry.

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About Matthew Hay Brown
Matthew Hay Brown writes and blogs about faith and values in public and private life for The Baltimore Sun. A former Washington correspondent for the newspaper, he has long written about the intersection of religion and politics. He has reported from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, traveling most recently to Syria and Jordan to write about the Iraqi refugee crisis.

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