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July 21, 2011

O'Malley announcement on gay marriage set for Friday

** Update: O'Malley will make his announcement on gay marriage Friday in Annapolis. **

Gov. Martin O'Malley said this morning that he will reveal his strategy on same-sex marriage at an event either tomorrow or Monday.

Activists have been working for months to persuade him to put his name on the controversial bill and include it in his legislative agenda. "I supported it last year," he said to colleague John Fritze. "I support it now."

The governor made his remarks in Washington, D.C. after addressing Democratic members of Congress at a closed door meeting.

O'Malley has told The Sun that he would have sponsored the bill this year if he thought it would be helpful for passage. The measure cleared the Senate this year, but was pulled from the House floor when it became clear that supporters were a few votes shy. The governor made phone calls to wavering members, but never made a full court push for the bill. 

O'Malley this morning noted that the recently enacted gay marriage law in New York shows "that we can protect religious freedoms and equality of civil marital rights at the same time."

Much of the lengthy debate on the issue in Maryland centered on ensuring that churches, synagogues and other religious institutions could opt-out of performing ceremonies their faith does not condone. Supporters accepted amendments in committee and on the Senate floor to beef up that section of the bill -- making it clear that churches would not have to change their practices to accommodate gay members. 

But opponents never believed the changes were sufficient -- in particular they wanted to enable religious institutions to deny gay couples services offered to the wider public, like adoptions.

Sun reporter John Fritze contributed to this blog post.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 12:51 PM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Same-Sex Marriage


Since when does a person need a "strategy" on respecting the rights and dreams of another person?

It is about time that the governor comes out publically and puts the weight of his office behind it. I believe that the protections for religious institutions were sufficient. The concern about denying all services, I believe is a little over the top. However if that is what the conservative religious groups want to display how bigotted they are then so be it.

Great to see the Gov getting involved.

I think the bill does more than enough to "protect" religious institutions. At some point, we just have to put our foot down and say tell them sorry, but we're not going to codify bigotry and discrimination.

the whole adoption flap, eg what happened in IL re civil unions, was a misleading of the public about the issue.

The catholic church has been taking public money for running adoption services.

If they want to discriminate, they have to stop taking our tax $$$, Then it becomes a church function protected by law.

IF they want to keep taking our tax $$$ they cant discriminate. You cant have it both ways.

The last thing our govt needs is to be supporting discriminatory operations.

In some other states the church went out of hte adoption biz.

Its very interesting that their beliefs trumped the welfare of children needing homes - homes that were by a great majority str8 couples.

But haven't we seen that before, beliefs and actions where the welfare of children was not #! on their agenda. And the investigations are still onging - all over the world.

eg re another catholic org that ran orphanages and reform schools all over Ireland

With all the problems we have to deal with, focusing on this issue is just stupid. Bigotry or discrimination has nothing to do with it. It is social engineering by government officials to garner votes from a specific community. O'Malley has been bested by Cuomo in his political ambitions for national office. That's why he so concerned about passing this legislation.


The protection of people's rights can take a back seat until it's 'a more appropriate time'?

Care to illuminate us further about why you are a bigot against the GLBT community? And when was/will be 'a more appropriate time'?

The protections are not enough. There is no protection for business owners of different faiths who CANNOT accomodate GLBT business. Gay marriage will open the door to discrimination lawsuits against them even though the Constitution guarantees their right to freedom of religion.

SEND IT TO THE VOTERS!! Let the voters decide the fate of the Gay Marriage Bill. Anything O'Malley proposes should go to the voters for a decision. O'Malley has shown that he can not be trusted and in that way he is like O'Bama. Both are failed Leaders with ane equally failed agenda (or lack of an agenda).

Nicky7, the protections are more than enough. The Catholic church, among others, is desperately trying to stall us gays getting any rights at all. I dealt with their bigotry for years when we were trying to get the Non-discrimination Act passed in Annapolis years ago. All their objections were just as lame then as they are now. They and others gave dire warnings, like you do, about the "tidal wave" of lawsuits businesses would suffer if that bill passed. It did, and in the ten years or so since, I cannot recall even one lawsuit coming from it, a sign of a truly effective law. Religion is going to have learn to get along in a free society--it demands all the freedoms it can get. So do we.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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