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Maryland Passes Marriage Equality — Responses And Reactions

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Just moments ago, the Maryland Senate passed Governor O’Malley’s same-sex marriage bill, one week after the House passed an identical bill. Governor O’Malley is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

Here are some responses and reactions to the historic news.

HRC

More Momentum in Maryland: Senate Passes Civil Marriage Equality Bill

But marriage not yet a reality; voter referendum expected

Washington – On the heels of the historic House of Delegates vote last week, the Maryland Senate today approved marriage equality legislation introduced by Governor Martin O’Malley (D) that would allow committed gay and lesbian couples to marry. With the bill successfully passing through the state legislature, Governor O’Malley is expected to sign it.

“We could not be more grateful to the senators who today voted to make all Maryland families stronger,” said Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “Today, we took another giant step toward marriage equality becoming law – and we are in this position due to the unwavering leadership and resolve of Governor O’Malley and our legislative allies, particularly Sens. Rich Madaleno, Jamie Raskin, Rob Garagiola, and Brian Frosh.”

The Civil Marriage Protection Act allows committed gay and lesbian couples to obtain a marriage license while providing religious exemptions for churches and other religious institutions. Clergy, for example, do not have to perform any marriage they do not agree with.

Virtually any piece of legislation, according to Maryland law, can be subject to a referendum where voters cast a ballot supporting or opposing the legislation. Opponents of marriage equality are expected to begin obtaining the requisite signatures necessary to refer the Civil Marriage Protection Act to the general election ballot.

“There remains a lot of work to do between now and November to make marriage equality a reality in Maryland,” added Solmonese. “Along with coalition partners, we look forward to educating and engaging voters about what this bill does: It strengthens all Maryland families and protects religious liberty.”

A January poll by the Washington Post indicated a majority of Marylanders support marriage equality.

Catholics For Equality

Catholics Applaud Senate Passage of Marriage Equality in Maryland
Group Says Today’s Victory Would Not Have Been Possible Without Pro-Equality Catholic Leadership”

ANNAPOLIS – Catholics for Equality, the country’s largest national political organization of Catholics who put their faith into ethical and effective political action on behalf of the LGBT community and their families, representing the views of over 75 million American Catholics, released the following statement today in response to today’s passage by the Maryland State Senate of Senate Bill 116, extending civil marriage equality to citizens in their state.

Catholics for Equality applauds the Maryland State Senate for passing marriage equality legislation today by a margin of 25-22.

We especially applaud the leadership and determination of our Catholic brother and bill lead sponsor, Maryland State Senator Robert Garagiola, for fighting so hard to pass this bill. Today, is not just a victory for same-sex couples in Maryland, for Catholic families across the country, but a victory for this rising star in Maryland politics.

We are also heartened that this bill is now being sent for signing to the desk of our Catholic brother, Governor Martin O’Malley, who has led this important battle this year. Without your pro-equality Catholic leadership, Governor O’Malley, today’s victory would not have been possible.

We also applaud the work of our state affiliate, Maryland Catholics for Equality, under the leadership of State Chair Manley Calhoun, who worked to empower and mobilize the majority of Maryland Catholics who polls show support civil marriage equality.

And lastly, we are inspired by the countless number of Catholic families who stood up and spoke out so passionately during the statewide debate on marriage equality. You prove to the nation that faithful Catholics believe that sacramental/religious marriage can be protected inside our church, while our government extends civil/legal marriage licenses to same-sex couples in our city halls.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 — Maryland lawmakers have approved a marriage equality bill, putting the state on track to become the eighth to allow same-sex couples to marry. The bill passed the Senate today and the House of Delegates last week. Gov. Martin O’Malley introduced the measure.

Just last month, O’Malley gave a speech at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, the largest convening of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates in the country. In his remarks, the governor reiterated his support for the marriage bill and pledged to sign it.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is a member of the Marylanders for Marriage Equality coalition, and has worked with local equality advocates over the years to secure protections for LGBT people and their families. This includes providing Equality Maryland with financial, technical and staff support throughout the 2011 legislative session.

The Task Force, through its Faith Partner Organizing Project, has also been working with faith communities in Maryland on public education efforts leading to this victory.

Maryland is poised to join Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington state, along with the District of Columbia, in allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“Maryland and marriage equality will certainly make a lovely couple. Maryland is the Free State, after all. To be able to share and celebrate one’s love and commitment both publicly and legally is a lifelong dream for thousands of same-sex couples and their families. It’s thrilling that Maryland is poised to make this a reality by becoming the latest state to treat its families fairly. This has been a long journey of changing hearts and minds, of breaking down walls, of shining a spotlight on our common humanity. Congratulations to Equality Maryland, Marylanders for Marriage Equality and all those who have been part of the journey leading to this victory.”

Marylanders for Marriage Equality Coalition

ANNAPOLIS – Following the successful vote in the House of Delegates last week, the Maryland Senate today approved the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which enables committed gay and lesbian couples to get a civil marriage license. While the Governor has stated his strong desire to sign the bill, the next step is likely to be the November ballot, where voters will support or oppose marriage equality.

 

 

“We’re fortunate to be riding a huge wave of momentum as we enter the referendum process,” said Sultan Shakir, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. “There is still a lot of work to do over the coming months, but we think voters will ultimately agree that all children, no matter who their parents are, should be protected under the law. Marriage equality is about building strong, stable families.”

 

 

A Washington Post poll released last month shows a majority of Marylanders support same-sex marriage.

 

Opponents of marriage equality are expected to begin obtaining the requisite 55,736 signatures necessary to refer the Civil Marriage Protection Act to the general election ballot this November – pending all legal requirements are met pertaining to the signature collection process.

 

In the coming weeks, Marylanders for Marriage Equality will be undertaking a significant public education and engagement campaign to let voters know the Civil Marriage Protection Act strengthens all families and protects religious liberty.

 

 

Each coalition partner, including 1199 SEIU, ACLU of Maryland, Equality Maryland, Human Rights Campaign, Progressive Maryland and others – is grateful to all senators, particularly Senators Ferguson, Forehand, Frosh, Garagiola, Gladden, Jones-Rodwell, Kelley, King, Kittleman, Madaleno, Manno, McFadden, Montgomery, Pinsky, Pugh, Ramirez, Raskin, Robey, Young, and Zirkin who cosponsored the bill.

 

 

“We want to thank the senators who cast their votes today in favor of equality for all the families in Maryland. Their unwavering commitment has helped ensure we provide protections and dignity to our families,” explains Carrie Evans, Executive Director of Equality Maryland.
“1199 SEIU members stand with our Delegates and Senators who voted for marriage equality. Their vote makes Maryland and all its working families stronger,” said Ezekiel Jackson of 1199 SEIU.

“We’re one step closer today to full equality for all families,” said Melissa Goemann, legislative director of ACLU of Maryland. “Legislators have voted to protect 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 Senate today,” said Kate Planco-Waybright, interim executive director of Progressive Maryland.

Family Equality Council

Family Equality Council, the national organization that connects, supports and represents the one million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) and the two million children they are raising, today congratulated Maryland families after the state Senate approved a bill that will provide the freedom to marry for all Maryland residents. Governor Martin O’Malley is expected to sign the legislation within days.

Family Equality Council is part of Marylanders for Marriage, a coalition of labor, faith, civil liberties, and LGBT rights organizations that have worked to bring civil marriage equality to Maryland.

Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director of Family Equality Council, said marriage will strengthen Maryland families.

“Maryland is home to more than 2,500 LGBT parents who are raising more than 5,000 children,” said Chrisler.  “These moms and dads want the same things for their children that all parents do -  respect, protection and a bright future. Now they can tell their children the state respects their commitment to one another, the law will protect their families, and that they will grow up in state that will give their family every opportunity to have that bright future.”

“Maryland now joins seven other states and the District of Columbia on the leading edge of a national movement to allow all committed and loving couples the freedom to marry. We look forward to the day when all Americans can enjoy that freedom.”

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News

‘Birth Control and Dental Dams and Food’: Fox News Host’s Rant Goes Viral

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A daytime Fox News host’s rant claiming Democrats are pandering to young voters by offering free beer and birth control at events has gone viral after equating the giveaways with what he says is a slogan from the ’50s and ’60s.

“I got to tell you, if they become the majority,” Fox News’ Harris Faulkner warned Wednesday, referring to younger voters, “we’re in trouble.”

“I mean, do you want people whose motto is – and they took this right out of the ’50s and ’60s – ‘battle by day, love at night’ – which means birth control and dental dams and food.”

The 18-second clip has been viewed 240,000 times in just three hours.

Faulkner appears to have been referring to a Tuesday Washington Post report by Michael Scherer, “Democratic efforts to lure young voters include beer and birth control.”

READ MORE: ‘Lying’: Johnson Slammed for Latest Claim on Trump Respecting Peaceful Transfer of Power

“The donor-funded experiments target younger voters in major metropolitan areas of a few key states who, if they do vote, tend to favor Democrats,” Scherer wrote.

“They want to make politics look different in the seven or so states that will decide the presidency — like a dance party, a comedy show or a place to chill out. Sometimes there will be free beer, manicures, boot shines, a rent check sweepstakes, a handout of contraceptive pills or cooling towels. All you have to do is show up, like it’s Super Bowl Sunday, and belong to something bigger. Oh, and someone might mention voting at some point.”

These events are not Biden campaign events, nor does the Post article suggest the Biden campaign is in any way involved, but Fox News included b-roll footage of President Biden as Faulkner presented her commentary. The articles also does not mention “dental dams,” or condoms for that matter.

As for Faulkner’s “battle by day, love at night” slogan, NCRM could find no specific reference to that.

Also during that Fox News segment, Faulkner suggested the Democrats using Hollywood and “manipulating these young people through their addictions.”

READ MORE: Buttigieg on Martha-Ann Alito: Flags Symbolizing Love vs. Insurrection Are Different

The Post’s report mentions several Democratic groups and donors behind the party favors.

“No one throws more simultaneous parties than we do,” Dmitri Mehlhorn told The Post. The paper described him as “a donor adviser to billionaire Democrats like LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman.”

“There are 2.2 million humans in those states under 45 who are just nonvoters, but they do all kinds of other civic stuff,” Mehlhorn added.

Kevin Mack, the lead strategist for the Voter Project, which The Post reports “has been throwing parties this spring across Pennsylvania,” said, young voters “will take actions automatically. It is not a big push.”

This is far from a new idea.

“It is very 19th century in a way,” Columbia University political scientist Donald Green told The P0st. “Before the so-called progressive era reforms of 1880s, you would have a marching band, you would have entertainment, you would have free whiskey for a male-only electorate.”

Watch a clip from the segment below or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump Insists No Mandatory Military Draft Advisers Have Been Planning

 

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OPINION

‘Lying’: Johnson Slammed for Latest Claim on Trump Respecting Peaceful Transfer of Power

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Speaker of the House Mike Johnson on Wednesday celebrated Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Washington, D.C. to meet with House and Senate Republicans, barely blocks away from where the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and on democracy itself took place. Many hold the-then president and his “Big Lie” responsible for the insurrection, and he has been indicted on charges related to it.

Johnson was asked if the ex-president is committed to and respects the peaceful transfer of power.

The Speaker’s response has angered some critics.

Johnson has a tenuous grip on his gavel and on the House GOP majority. He has already faced one vote to remove him, and survived it thanks to House Democrats. To shore up his power, Johnson has traveled to Mar-a-Lago to appear with the indicted and now criminally-convicted ex-president, and has promoted several pieces of legislation critics say only serve as messaging vehicles to please Trump.

Pointing out that this will be he first time Trump has met with both House and Senate Republicans in D.C. since the January 6 insurrection, a reporter Wednesday morning asked the Speaker, “are you committed or have you spoken about basically not doing anything like that again and committing to respecting the American tradition of peaceful transfer?”

READ MORE: Buttigieg on Martha-Ann Alito: Flags Symbolizing Love vs. Insurrection Are Different

Johnson, whose emotions are often on view, repeatedly frown and looked irritated as the reporter spoke.

“Of course he respects that,” Johnson said frustratedly. “And we all do and we’ve all talked about it ad nauseam.”

“We’re excited to welcome President Trump back and he’ll be meeting with the Senate Republicans of course, after he has a breakfast with us. And there’s high anticipation here and great excitement.”

Ahead of Johnson’s remarks CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane had posted where Thursday’s meeting with House Republicans and Donald Trump will take place.

If there were no question about Donald Trump’s commitment to the peaceful transfer of power – and there is given to this day he calls insurrectionists, “warriors,” “victims,” “hostages,” and “patriots” – the Speaker would not need to be discussing it “ad nauseam.”

As a backbencher before being elevated to Speaker, Johnson was not just a little-known congressman, he was an architect of Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Johnson spread election fraud conspiracy theories and lies, as a CNN investigation published in April confirmed.

READ MORE: Speaker Johnson on Why He Thinks Hunter Biden’s Conviction Is Valid but Donald Trump’s Is Not

Also back in April, Johnson tried to rewrite history, whitewashing the role of insurrectionists and those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, saying some of them were “innocent, you know, people who were there and just happened to be walking through the building.”

Highlighting those remarks, The New Republic reported, “the Republican leader seemed to suggest that the 2,000 people who charged the halls, destroyed federal property, and interrupted the peaceful presidential transfer of power—1,265 of whom have been charged by federal authorities—were actually mere innocent bystanders.”

Critics were quick to call out Johnson’s remarks.

Veteran journalist John Harwood responded, saying, “by lying here, Johnson shows he understands that what he and House GOP helped Trump do in Jan 2021, and what Trump intends to do again if necessary, is wrong.”

He added, “if he weren’t ashamed of it, he’d tell the truth.”

Award-winning CNBC/NBC News reporter Carl Quintanilla responded to Johnson’s remarks with a 4-second clip of a someone who appears to be attacking law enforcement with the American flag on January 6.

“Bullshit,” declared former Tea Party Republican U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh. “Trump is humanly incapable of accepting an election loss. He will NEVER respect the peaceful transfer of power. And Mike Johnson knows that.”

The Biden campaign reposted the video and remarked, “(No, he clearly does not).”

Media critic and former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob responded with: “Mike Johnson is a lying traitor.”

Mother Jones D.C. bureau chief David Corn wrote: “Given that Trump has promised to pardon the 1/6 insurrectionist rioters who attacked the Capitol, he’s not showing much respect for the rule of law or the peaceful transfer of power. Johnson is lying for Trump. That’s not very Biblical.”

Watch Johnson’s remarks below or at this link.

See the video and social media posts above or at this link.

READ MORE: Many Republicans Don’t Believe Trump Was Indicted or Aren’t Sure – But Say He’s Not Guilty

 

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News

Buttigieg on Martha-Ann Alito: Flags Symbolizing Love vs. Insurrection Are Different

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg says he hopes Americans can see the difference between an LGBTQ Pride flag representing love, like the one Martha-Ann Alito lamented she has to look at daily, and flags that symbolize the January 6, 2021 insurrection, two of which she flew at the homes she and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito live in.

“I’m often reminded that the most important thing in my life, which is my marriage, and my family and the two beautiful children that my husband Chasten and I are raising that that marriage only exists by the grace of the single vote on the United States Supreme Court,” said Secretary Buttigieg, responding to a question during a CNN interview Wednesday morning about secretly-recorded remarks Mrs. Alito made. “That expanded our rights and freedoms back in 2015 and made it possible for somebody like me to get married.”

“And, you know, Supreme Court justices have an unbelievable amount of power and, and by the nature in the structure, the Supreme Court, there’s no supervision over that power. They are entrusted with it literally for as long as they live. And part of that trust is we expect them to enter into those enormously consequential decisions that that shape our everyday lives with a sense of fairness,” Buttigieg continued, appearing to acknowledge the tremendous drop in perceived credibility the Supreme Court has suffered in recent years. Last summer Pew Research reported the court’s favorability rating had dropped to a “historic low.”

RELATED: Secret Audio of Justice Alito’s Wife Exposes His Plans and Her ‘Bitterness’: Critics

“I also hope that most Americans can understand the difference between a flag that symbolizes you know, love and acceptance and signals to people who have sometimes feared for their safety that they’re going to be okay. And insurrectionists symbology, I’ll just leave it at that.”

CNN’s Berman played audio of Martha-Ann Alito before asking the Secretary to offer his remarks.

“I want a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag, because I have to look across the lagoon at the pride flag for the next month,” Mrs. Alito can be heard saying in the secretly-recorded audio. “And he’s like, ‘Oh, please don’t put up a flag.’ I said, ‘I won’t do it. Because I’m deferring to you but when you are free of this nonsense, I’m putting it up and I’m gonna send them a message every day.’ ”

Although CNN did not play the full clip of Mrs. Alito’s remarks, she continued, saying, “I’ll be changing the flags. They’ll be all kinds. I made a flag in my head. This is how I satisfy myself. I made a flag. It’s white and has yellow and orange flames around it. And in the middle is the word ‘vergogna.’ ‘Vergogna’ in Italian means shame — vergogna. V-E-R-G-O-G-N-A. Vergogna.”

She also said, “I’m German. I’m from Germany. My heritage is German. You come after me, I’m gonna give it back to you. And there will be a way — it doesn’t have to be now — but there will be a way they will know. Don’t worry about it. God — you read the Bible. Psalm 27 is my psalm. Mine. Psalm 27, the Lord is my God and my rock. Of whom shall I be afraid? Nobody.”

Watch Buttigieg’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump Insists No Mandatory Military Draft Advisers Have Been Planning

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