The governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, will lay out a strategy tomorrow to get marriage equality passed in his state:
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. “I support it now.”
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.
As is typical, anti-gay marriage factions wanted special rights to discriminate in areas outside the practice of their religion, and they will want them again, but hopefully the New York law will provide a decent blueprint for how Maryland and other wavering states can get this done.