Friday, March 11, 2011

Maybe Land Maryland

Today's vote in the Maryland House of Delegates was supposed to be close. It also wasn't supposed to fizzle. In the end, there was no vote on marriage equality, but serious fizzling.

Basically, the House punted for a year. Despite the state motto of manly deeds, womanly words (Fatti maschii, parole femine), today it was plain old cowardly mumbling.

The governor was set to sign SSM into law. The Senate committee and whole body had passed it. The House committee had too. The lower chamber was simply stuck on the chamber pot.

I honestly can still see a swatch of true America, with liberty and equality for its citizens — from Maine down through Maryland, from the Atlantic west through Buffalo. We are that close in that many legislatures. Not today, civil-rights lovers!

Equality Maryland must have alternated between steaming and weeping, but put a mask of resolution on for the coming campaign. The statement released by the staff and board included:

Though we are disappointed that we must continue to fight for marriage equality, today's move was a strategic step that will allow us to fight and win in the future.

We celebrate that-for the first time-marriage equality legislation made it through the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, the Senate, the House Judiciary Committee, and was debated in the House of Delegates.

We are extraordinarily grateful to the many leaders who have stood by us throughout this journey... We commend the thousands of supporters who made calls, sent emails, and met with their legislators to tell them why all Maryland couples deserve equal rights...As a result of the tireless efforts, strong hearts, and the determination of gay and lesbian couples and our many allies it is only a matter of time before Marylanders achieve marriage equality.

Equality Maryland is more committed than ever to this fight. Our setback today only strengthens our determination to redouble our efforts to ensure that our voices are heard and our rights are protected. We know our cause is just. We know that a growing majority of Marylanders believe in the same values of fairness and equality.

We must commit to this fight for the long haul. Together we will triumph!

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John Hosty-Grinnell said...


One of the tactics used successfully in situations like this is to find out who is against us and then engage them. Does Equality Maryland have a list of the legislators we need to speak to? Do they have a plan of engagement? Are they showing supporters how they can help with this?

The first time we were taken by surprise and lost a vote we in the GLBT community should have learned and adapted our tactics, but it seems we are not. Any thoughts as to why?

massmarrier said...

So far, they aren't broadcasting their strategy. In the longer statement after the non-vote, they are thanking everybody and claiming they'll make it happen. I'll try to chat with them and see what's shaking.