Optimism for Gay Marriage in Maryland

A member of the Maryland House of Delegates has expressed optimism that the state legislature will pass marriage equality into law early next year.

“Last time the Senate passed the bill but it was defeated by just a few votes in the house of delegates,” Doyle L. Neimann, D-District 47 told this scribe Sunday morning at the Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist church in Hyattsville.

Neimann said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is personally promoting the bill. “The leaders in the house are supporting it. We are going to pass marriage equality into law.”

But he said he is not happy to learn that the right wing has mobilized its troops to petition and put the issue for a referendum even when the general assembly passes the marriage equality law.

On the liberal front, Marylanders for Marriage Equality coalition will launch Campaign Run Down and set up its first phone bank to contact the legislators at the Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist church in Hyattsville Tuesday.

The coalition includes the NAACPBaltimore Chapter, SEIU, ACLU-Maryland, Progressive Maryland, Equality Maryland, Human Rights Campaign, National Black Justice Coalition, Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Family Equality Council, Catholics for Equality, Maryland Faith for Equality, PFLAG and Maryland NOW.

David A.C. Turley of the Human Rights Campaign will speak about Campaign Run Down and then give training on phone banking.

“David Turley, the new director of Marylanders for Marriage Equality, previously worked for passage of marriage equality in New York,” Nancy Boardman, chairperson of the Social Action Committee, said, sounding delighted. “We will all be singing the same song,” she said about the phone training to call Maryland state parliament members.

As many as 25 Maryland senators voted for gay marriage and 22 voted against it, but in the house it was just two votes short of the 71 votes required for passage.

“Work needs to be done on at least 15 members who are very rigid on this issue,” said Neimann.

The coalition will provide training, scripts and contact lists for the phone banking. Those interested in helping are requested to bring their cell phones.

The dates are Tuesday November 29, Wednesday December 7 and Tuesday December 13. The timing on all three days are 6.00 p..m. to 9 p.m.

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