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July 22, 2011

O'Malley to sponsor same-sex marriage bill

Standing with House and Senate supporters, Gov. Martin O'Malley announced this afternoon that he will lead the charge for gay marriage in Maryland and put his name on a bill that allows same-sex couples to wed.

"Marylanders of all walks of life want their children to live in a loving, stable, committed home protected under the law," O'Malley said. He said it would be one of "a small handful" of legislative priorities.

The governor was supportive of same-sex marriage last year, but stayed mostly in the background. Today's announcement was rumored for weeks, with chatter increasing after a gay marriage bill was signed into law in New York.

O'Malley said he hopes to learn from the New York effort and spoke admiringly about the religious protections offered by that law, though he did not offer any specific changes that he might make.

The Maryland Catholic Conference immediately issued a statement calling the governor's decision "regrettable." "The moral and social impacts of redefining marriage would be pervasive and severe," according to the statement.

A same-sex marriage bill passed out of Maryland's Senate last session. But it was withdrawn from the House of Delegates when leaders determined it was a few votes shy of passage.

O'Malley tasked his top lobbyist, Joseph C. Bryce, with spearheading the effort to move the bill in 2012. Bryce, a well respected Annapolis aide, will coordinate the new Marylanders for Marriage Equality coalition and develop a strategy to garner additional votes.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 2:58 PM | | Comments (47)
Categories: General Assembly 2010


the sheep are so sad. If O'Malley had any courage he would have stood up for SSM this PAST session. He's only doing this now b/c Cuomo exposed O'Malley look like the overly calculating coward that he is. He is doing this only to advance his presidential aspirations. And the Md. left just laps it all up like the idiots that they are. I want SSM to pass, I fully support the GA passing it. I just KNOW that if O'Coward had gotten off his butt a few months ago, it would already be the law of Md. Shameful and disgusting that no one is calling him out on it.

He gets fully behind wrong bills when he doesn't have to worry about being re-elected. Funny how that works.

First, I wish O'Malley, or any other gov who wants to appear to be for equality, whatever that is, would propose civil unions for all couples married by anyone outside of a religious ceremony. Marriage goes back to traditional marriages;in part it explains the oppostion of some clergy to gay "marriage". Also, hetero couples who want to be united and have legal state recognition don't need the world "marriage" either. They've decided against a church, mosque, pagan or Jewish ceremony; fine. Civil unions for all outside religion=there's equality.

O'Malley is a pompous hypocrite and I do hope our gay friends do realize how used they are when this slimeperson does almost anything. He purports to stand for "stable" families, but PGC, the City and many places are in a state of war because of hundreds of thousands of kids raised in unstable, single parent households, if there is any parent at all as a caring parent. I'm for stability as a conservative, so I can accept if not love gay marriage, but for this panderer OM to claim to be for stable families by favoring this bill is outrageous.His big govt policies do nothing bu destroy families and people like the late Sen Moynihan wrote eloquently on this. OM is a jerk and I hope gays realize true consevatives are the friends of those who are lawabiding and just want to be left alone, a right liberals actually despise.

A liberal progressive lifetime politician in a liberal progressive state stands up for a favorite liberal progressive cause. What courage. Just put it on the ballot, Marty.

Can you say petition drive? Another bill if passed headed to referendum for defeat. The people of Maryland won't be denied their say!

Dear Maryland Catholic Conference:

The moral and social impacts of allowing and covering up the widespread sexual abuse of children entrusted to your care are pervasive and severe.

How about only opening your mouths to speak when you actually have some moral authority?

Another dumb move in the name of "equality"

O'Malley should be ashamed of himself. Homosexuality is a terrible thing. WedMd states that one in five gay men currently has HIV and half of ALL new HIV cases in the U.S. are gay men. If this illness came from anything else besides being gay, there would be health warnings. My kids will not be allowed to be around gays. Would you allow your children to be around people in which 1 in 5 had HIV?

MOM is backing SSM not because it is right or wrong but it gets his name in the news. The Gov is planning on Obama getting reelected and Babs retiring. He needs to increase his profile on a national issue to take over Babs seat.
If he cared if it passes he would have publicly backed it earlier(but that would have been risky close to the election).
Pass or not this time, doesn't matter. He will have taken a stand on a National Liberal Democratic issue and that is all that matters

Yup, I told Marty Cottontail and his chimp, Abruzzese that we will petition this too. OMalley is a freaking clown. Him and Katie should leave Maryland. 2 peas of the same pod. Corrupt and Vile.

didactic1, marriage is a state-sanctioned institution that's been an integral part of how families relate to governments for thousands of years. I'm an atheist and I'm not interested in having my marriage downgraded just because I don't want to be married in a religious ceremony.

Churches have already managed to accommodate the religious and civil marriages aren't necessarily the same thing. After all, if you get married in a Catholic Church, then get divorced and married to someone else down at city hall, as far as the Church is concerned you're still married to your first spouse. Nobody can make the Church recognize a marriage they don't want to recognize for religious purposes, but the Church doesn't get to say who the state recognizes either.

Perhaps of some us skipped the U.S. history class about the Constitution. Remember the document that protects the minority from tyranny of the majority ?We are entitled to the same rights and liberties, whether we are in the minority or in the majority. Discrimination has no place in the ballot box.

The Gov O'Malley can say what ever he wants. In the end "We The People" will have the final say and we say bring on the petition drive. Then we will put it on the ballet for the legal tax payers to decide.

Let me start by saying i am a conservative.

To me who cares if people of the same sex gets married. The bible says marriage is between one man and one woman. So to me they can get "married" all they want because a marriage license from the State Of Maryland isnt valid with God.

The real problem is that it just wont stop with Gay marriage. Next they will want it to be a requirement that all children be taught in sex ed class about same sex issues and so on. Thats when the real problem starts.

So to me let anyone marry who they wish. A man & woman, man & man, woman & dog it doesnt matter because in Gods eyes true marriage is between a man and woman ONLY.


Let's applaud our governor for showing such COURAGE to stand up for SSM only AFTER it got thrown thanks to a handful his former Balt. City constituents in this last session and AFTER another democratic governor fully supported the bill that passed in NY.

O'Malley, you could have really done something great by supporting the bill the first time around and leading the way towards equality in Maryland, rather than sheepishly waiting for others to pave the road nice and smooth for you for your next election >:-|

well, I see that this has brought all the usual bigots back out of the closet.

Henery, try educating yourself on HIV/AIDs. It's a virus; it didn't just spring up out of gay men.

B and the rest-- this has nothing to do with god or religion. It has to do with law and the constitution. A marriage is a STATE SANCTIONED contract....period.

Churches can do whatever the heck they want to do. Just don't interfere with someone else's civil rights.

I have to agree with those who say that this is a purely political move, inspired solely by the positive attention Cuomo has received in Democratic circles. That said I have to ask, who cares? O'Malley is a politician. It would be nice if we lived in a country where it made sense to worry about our politician's motivations, but given the way our system is structured, it's the what which is important, and not the why. How many elected officials can you name who are truly principled people? I don't necessarily mean people you agree with, but people who do what they honestly believe is right, without regard for the political ramifications. Maybe one fifth of the people in the US congress appear to meet that description, but most of those likely owe their apparent fortitude to a secure position and the relative impossibility of rising higher. I like Ben Cardin personally, and think he is a first rate US Senator, but I can recognize that it is easy for him to stand firm on the things he believes, given that he knows that his seat is almost certainly his for as long as he wants it, and that he stands a snow ball's chance in a very warm place of ever rising higher. So really, how many politicians could one truly describe as principled? Bernie Sanders on the left, and maybe Ron Paul on the right. And it's perhaps not a coincidence that both of those men are pretty far from the American mainstream. Oh, I should add that John Lewis is a principled man by any standard, and that there are surely others, but not many of them. Almost all our elected representatives are worrying about their own advancement above all else. Almost all of them make decisions based on polling rather than on what they believe to be right, much less on the advice of experts. So given that reality, it seems sort of childish if you support marriage equality, to lambast O'Malley for supporting it for political reasons. For better or worse, it's not enough to elect someone. You have to push them once they are in office. This is what the left forgot after 2008. They thought electing President Obama was enough. But ever since, it has been only the right which has been engaged, and so now the President's agenda looks more like that of a (moderate, Bush the 1st style) republican, than that of a new FDR (which, I believe, is what many if not most of his supporters had hoped he would become). But I digress. Personally, I find it gratifying that public opinion has moved so much on this issue, that a politician is actually backing same sex marriage for political reasons.


What is so completely wrong with teaching TEENAGERS about same sex issues? If you ask the majority of homosexuals, they will tell you they knew they were gay during their early, teen years. Definitely around the time Sex-Ed classes became prevalent. It's time to wake up people, children don't see a sense in right or wrong in who you love, they only see that love, teenagers might feel ashamed but it's because of the bigotry and hatred that heterosexual parents place in their children. Do you realize that when you say, "Dumb Fag" or "Stupid Dyke" around your children that they astutely pick up those emotions and adapt them as their own? Homosexuals want the same morals and values and respect that you feel you inately deserve. What we do behind our bedroom doors is absolutely none of your concern. We teach our children more tolerance than you can possibly imagine and that's not even because we are religious but because we know how much we've fought for the tiny scraps of tolerance you give us. I'll leave you all with this question: If an agnotistic couple got married, that's exactly what it would be called, a marriage; however, even if me and my partner we're agnotistic or better yet, atheists, we have to settle with half the title and twice the discrimination?

My mother always told me, "If you dont have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." I think some adults need to rethink on the teachings their parents left with them.

It's amazing the people who promote changes to the laws of the land based on "personal preference". They sure haven't learned anything from history. The same argument will usher in polygamy, marriage to minors, and other arrangements that the people involved consent to and argue that preventing it violates their civil rights.

If you check it out, many who support gay marriage think that polygamy should not be supported. Think again, gay marriage will be exactly the precedent that ushers in total chaos!

These people supporting gay rights should learn a little history. They should read a little about the Roman Empire, we are on EXACTLY the same course - total decay of society, eventual downfall. Think it can't happen in the US after 400 years? Find a society that has supported total sexual depravity in its civil laws that has thrived - you won't. It's the beginning of the end. The gay marriage advocates don't care, nor do the politicians, as they will be dead by then - maybe - or just short sighted.

Watch the gay marriage supporters in their response to this post, it will be venom, name-calling, and verbal/personal attacks. As long as they get what they want to do, society be damned. Which is exactly what will happen.

I only ask to learn a little history "Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it".


This doesn't just benefit gay people. The government was telling all of us who we could and couldn't marry, it just so happens that the majority of us agreed with the decision. But just as recognizing interracial marriages benefits me even if I do marry within my race, so does this.

nothing like being tossed around like a hot potator! You are too late O'Malley, you had your chance and you blew it! The Maryland Catholic Conference is a "regrettable" mob that apparently would rather support child molesters than fight for civil rights for al citizens.

trying to understand why someone would seek rights based on a sexual preference. i am not against anybody having there own personal wants and desires but help me understand why sexual preference extends into receiving a civil right as a result.

civil rights of an indidvidual protect that person as an individual so i can't understand gay rights...... because there is no such thing as straight rights, just civil rights. marriage is defined under a releigious law. if you want something under a state law call it a civil union.

Here we go with the gay catch word,
-born that way
Anything to get their wicked, immoral lifestyles on somewhat of a par with normal people. It is a sick lifestyle, and you may fool some of the population, but you will never fool all. And blaming religion? Wow, what a cop out.

B - great post.

Bout time. Now when can regular citizens have the right to defend themselves with a firearm instead of just lawyers, doctors and people who donated to O'Malley's campaign?


A child cannot consent, and so allowing gay marriage would absolutely not set a precedent which would allow child marriage. Furthermore, the crux of the argument for same sex marriage is not that two consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want, but rather that as the right to marry is already afforded to two people of the opposite sex, it is a violation of the principle (enshrined in our constitution) of equal protection under the law, to deny that same right to two people of the same sex. No one has the right to marry more than one person, and so there is no violation of that principle which could be used to justify legalizing polygamy.

With all due respect, your assertion of a parallel to Rome is not particularly well thought out. Rome fell for a myriad of reasons, some of which do parallel things happening in our society (disinvestment by the wealthy, a fractious political environment, a military stretched too thin, attacks from without and within), but there is no credible connection to the issue of gay marriage. Same sex marriage is already legal in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. The vast majority of the rest of Europe and South America offer civil unions to everyone, and leave the issue of "marriage" up to individual churches. None of these societies have crumbled as a result.

I'm not going to call you names, hurl invective at you, or anything else along those lines. I do think you should read a wider range of historical texts, and try to find a more objective viewpoint.

Has anyone seen Lt Gub, Anthony Brown around? I thought I saw him going down the street via OMalleys Leash to Gay Off Presser. OMalley is about OMalley, he sees Cuomo as his chief competitor in 2016. Problem is, Cuomos laundry is nowhere near as dirty as his Royalness OMalley and the Gay Marriage thing is just totally stupid and wrong and it should remain within the confinds of the church. The church supports Illegal Alien Criminals and then goes against Gay Marriage, go figure, the Catholic Church that is.

Wonderful. Simply wonderful!

the intelligence level of the anti-gay commenters here is, as usually, astoundingly low. wow.

i love how bigots feel entited to some kind of election. you already HAD an election. you voted for a governor, you voted for a legislature, and if you don't like their policies, i guess that just means that you lost already, didn't you.

Being gay comes natural for O"Malley, , or is it the vote? Striaght marriages can produce children. The sexual anatomy of a man and women are compatable. The rectum , for example , OTOH, is not remotely well -suited for the reception of a penis. OMalley how many votes was it worth to sell your soul?

Henery, You said that homosexuality is a terrible thing, based on statistics you quoted, that one in five gay men currently has HIV and half of ALL new HIV cases in the U.S. are gay men. You then asserted that you would not allow your kids to be near gay people and asked, "Would you allow your children to be around people in which 1 in 5 had HIV?"

You should be ashamed of yourself. Your comments are as ignorant as they are appalling. It is precisely that type of attitude, the one that marginalizes gay people, keeping them on the fringes of society, and denying them the social constructs that encourage monogamy and stability (And, yes, I am talking about marriage and parenthood) that perpetuates the very statistics you cited. You, and the people who spew hatred and condone homophobia, have blood on your hands.

The Archbishop should excommunicate OMalley

still curious... why do we receive rights based on a personal preference? unless homosexuality is a disorder, maybe you can classify it as the rights of the handicapped ( no offense to the handicapped). is there any scientific evidence to support one's condition of being born gay? is this actually a medical condition? i just want to understand the request to have rights based on a sexual attraction. please don't say it isn't about a sexual atraction because it is, if it wasn't you would just be friends. and guess what it opens up the flood gates of loopholes that friends could use for tax benefits and so forth. if i was vegan could i apply for vegan rights because i am attracted to eating vegetables? right should not be based on attraction. what if you are experimenting with the gay lifestyle and you adopt a child or recieve benefits and then realize you were just experimenting.... would it be fair to assume you would pay restitution for not knowing, could you be found responsible for fraud? how is it that you get offended when you put your personal business in the street and get mad when people voice their opinions... that is your business not everyone else's. you definitely should call yourself a minority because your claim is that of a personal matter; for example, a woman can't hide the fact she is a woman, a latino asian or african american can't hide the fact they are of those ethnic origins, and little person can't hide the fact they are proportionately smaller than the rest of society. the only reason people know if you are homosexual is if you flaunt it. by no means do i say hide it, be proud of who you are but don't expect protection because of what you like.

If Art (see comment above) think the Archbishop should excommunicate O'Malley, the he must also believe that there should be no Roman Catholics in public service. We can't have our elected officials legislating according to their religious faith. You can't make laws for Protestants, Jews, et al based on Catholic teachings.

Amazing! Two women can't penetrate; two men can't ovulate. Two women with periods and two men with no period should at least raise a question! Is it even normal? Neither set can reproduce in their own species and we can't see that there's something really unproductive about that. Not even in the animal kingdom do you find such twisted behavior, only a male and a female. State & national leaders are deceived to push this as a civil rights issue -- cowards with no moral fortitude, pandering to the loud voices of selfishness and perversion. Civil rights was about the morality of human dignity, based on the Judeo-Christian ethic, not the immorality of sexual abnormality. (Stop pimping civil rights!) No one's vilifying the gay or lesbian person. But let's stop dignifying and normalizing perverted sexual behavior. As in fallen Greece & Rome, the children will pay the price for a nation which refuses to draw a line and declare righteous vs. unrighteous! Should God help such a nation recover economically? Oh, that's right. What's God got to do with anything?

O'Malley is absolutely wrong.

O'malley is at it again! Votes,votes and more votes! Do whatever it takes baby! O'malley will be president one day! Can't wait!

This gay "marriage" issue is really nothing more then state-sponsored perversion. These creatures can call themselves a "married couple", but in reality they're only lying to themselves and those around them. Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, period... end of argument! But I'm also troubled about another aspect of this cultural conflict. Liberals tell us that the government has no business in a persons bedroom. I can buy that much. So why is the state involved in just that with this gay "marriage" issue, hmm? Isn't this just another example of the hypocrisy that drives the progressive agenda? I think so.

I believe that the politicians including POTUS and lately, the Governor of MD, are getting involved in the issue not only for homosexual votes but to distract from the real issues concerning their states. Specifically, failure to manage their respective states business and finance in a responsible and prudent manner.

Ever notice that conservatives want government out of the lives of the people unless there is sex involved?

As soon as sex rears its ;ovely head, the right-wingers demand to know everything about everyone, telling them what they can and cannot do, and just basically remaining in everyone's lives but their own.

Gay marriage is a no brainer. We strraights can get married, so it is clearly discrimination to tell gays that they can't. It's not complicated. Yet there they are, poking into your closet.

And it's not just gay issues. Remember when the thrifty GOP spent an incredible $70 million of your bucks chasing Bill Clinton's zipper? Or John Edwards? Or Anthony Weiner? And, of course, there's abortion, whre they would love to tell my wife what she can and cannot do with her own body.,

Conservatives do not want the government to spend a dime - let alone passing laws - that help the middle class and working poor. But as soon as sex is involved, look out! That grand old document, the Constitution, gets tossed right out the window. And no expense shoud be spared on the Sex Police. Live and let live? Forget it.

Freud would have a field day with these people. There aren't enough couches in the world to fix so many anally retentive hypocrites.

Saltapeppaketchup, a well put argument. If you can remember, some of them told us that it is their preference and then they said they were "born this way" even though we all have seen evidence to the contrary. In Baltimore, I have seen women and teenage girls who have had bad relationships with guys experiment with the same sex just to not deal with the hurt the experienced. Either way, it doesn't seem logical to change laws and give rights to people because they are sexually attracted to the same sex.

Wow. So much to comment here, I'll just make one point.

To those who think being gay is something you choose and not something you are born with, let me ask you: Do you choose to like certain flavors of ice cream, or do you just like that particular flavor? Do you make a conscious choice to enjoy cheeseburgers or do you just happen to like cheeseburgers? Do you see an attractive woman walking down the street and decide "I'm going to find her attractive", or do you just find her attractive? There's no conscious decision on your part, you simply like what you like.

The notion that one has a choice as to what they enjoy (whether it's food or sexual partner) is absurd.

It's ironic how many "conservatives" who want the government to stay out of our lives (a position I generally agree with) are OK with the government mandating who can and can't get married.

Election time is coming and he'll do and say just about anything to win, he has his eyes on the white house...

Nicky7 doesn't think it seems "logical to change laws and give rights to people becuase they are sexually attracted to the same sex."

She would prefer things the way they are now. Gay men who refuse to accept their gay get married to straight women and start families. Then they go to places like rest rooms in parks and airports, like Senator Larry Craig got caught doing, and have annonymous sex with men on the down low. Since their families rarely find out about it, and the men identify themselves as heterosexual, then it's easy for them to pretend it never happened.

Yeah that works out well for everyone involved. Hmm, or maybe it would be better to let people marry who they want in the first place, so nobody needs to feel ashamed.

O'Malley has delusions of grandeur..WHITE HOUSE maybe? He is a sorry excuse for any high office and will NOT get a second term. The taxpayers of Md. will be heard.

These are the comments from above that contain the most egregious lies and misinformation. They would almost make me laugh if they weren't so hateful, ignorant, and/or just plain sad and wrong. This is America, people. Remember? The Land of the Free?

"The rectum is not remotely well -suited for the reception of a penis."

"Two women can't penetrate."
-Black Man

"Not even in the animal kingdom do you find such twisted behavior, only a male and a female."
-Black Man

"Marriage is defined under a releigious law."

"Gay marriage will be exactly the precedent that ushers in total chaos!"
-Bill Russett

"The same argument will usher in polygamy, marriage to minors."
-Bill Russett

"The bible says marriage is between one man and one woman."

"It is a sick lifestyle, and you may fool some of the population, but you will never fool all."
-Henry Hank

O'Malley is purely doing this for his election attempts. Marriage is between a man and a woman like God intended it to be. I agree that there are so many morally corrupt people out there that anything the liberals says goes. I believe that God will have the last say for all the sin of this world and perversion. I am tired of the liberals turning the youth today into a bunch of inept, immoral, corrupt, socialist idots! There needs to be a revolution to clean up America!

Where was super Martin for the last four yeas if it's sooooooo important should he have not done this a long time ago What a DOUCHE. Now maybe he can work on that budget short fall he has been avoiding . It must be amazing to love ones self as much as he does..

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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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