President Barack Obama should express his unwavering support for marriage equality in Maryland, the eighth state where same-sex couples can marry. His imprimatur is critical because the issue may reach the ballot in November and African Americans represent 30-percent of the state and are more likely to oppose the law.
A recent Washington Post poll found a sharp divide among Maryland Democrats based on race. Among whites, 71 percent support same-sex marriage, while 24 percent do not. Among blacks, 41 percent are supportive, while 53 percent are opposed. Maryland has the largest percentage of African Americans of any state outside of the Deep South.
TWO joins author David Mixner (pictured) who told the Washington Post that the fight over keeping the law “lands the issue squarely on the president’s desk” because of the state’s proximity to Washington and its sizable black electorate. He pointed out that Obama’s opposition to marriage equality has been cited by opponents in California, as well as by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who recently vetoed a marriage law.
“It is essential that he makes clear to the voters of Maryland, without any caveats, that if he were a resident of the state, he would vote against repeal,” Mixner told the Washington Post. “We can’t afford to have his statement be ambiguous so the other side can claim that he’s on their side.”
The President has been a friend of the LGBT community and now is the time we need our friends to come through for us. His voice could be the difference of winning or having our relationship status demoted to second class citizenship.