Maryland House of Delegates Passes Marriage Equality Bill
February 17, 2012
ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland House of Delegates voted in favor of House Bill 438, the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which allows committed gay and lesbian couples to marry in the state. The measure, which is a cornerstone of Governor Martin O'Malley's legislative agenda this year, now moves to the Senate, where it cleared the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee late last month.
"Today's vote is a huge step forward for all of us working to make marriage equality a reality in Maryland," said Sultan Shakir, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality coalition. "There's a lot of work left to do, but momentum continues to grow - and quickly."
Passage in the House, where a marriage equality bill stalled last year, is seen as a major milestone in this year's push to pass marriage equality.
"We want to thank the Delegates who cast votes today in favor of equality for LGBT families in our state, and our Senate supporters who laid the path last year that made this day possible. Their unwavering commitment has helped bring us one huge step closer today to marriage equality in our great state," explains Carrie Evans, Executive Director of Equality Maryland. "If last year taught us anything, it's that you can't take any vote for granted, but we're cautiously optimistic."
"1199 SEIU members stand with our Delegates who voted for marriage equality. Their vote makes Maryland and all its working families stronger," said Ezekiel Jackson of 1199 SEIU.
"History was made today," said Melissa Goemann, legislative director of ACLU of Maryland. "Delegates protected religious liberty while allowing for equal protection under the law for same-sex couples and their families."
"Committed gay and lesbian couples and their children are on the road to being protected equally under the law due to the efforts of the House today," said Kate Planco-Waybright, interim executive director of Progressive Maryland.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality is the coalition-including 1199 SEIU, Equality Maryland, Progressive Maryland, Human Rights Campaign, ACLU of Maryland, and others-working to bring civil marriage equality to Maryland.