Connect with us

Maryland Passes Marriage Equality — Responses And Reactions

Published

on

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.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Thinly-Veiled Incitement to Violence and Overt Racism’: Trump’s Truth Social Post Sparks Outrage

Published

on

Donald Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” but on Friday night took his social media approach to his Truth Social website.

Trump accused Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of having a “death wish” after a government shutdown was averted.

“Must immediately seek help and advise (sic) from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” he said of Elaine Chao, who served in his cabinet for four years as Secretary of Transportation.

Trump’s post generated outrage online.

“Nothing to see here,” conservative lawyer George Conway tweeted. “Just a former president of the United States seeking to incite violence against the minority leader of the United States Senate and launching a racist verbal attack on the leader’s wife.”

Former federal prosecutor Shanlon Wu wrote, “Donald Trump using blatant racist tactics in his desperate attacks on McConnell by trying to ridicule Asian American former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao’s name calling her ‘Coco Chow’ — [McConnell] and [GOP] should call him out and reject his racist hate — will they do it?”

“Hardly shocking that Trump would threaten Mitch McConnell by capitalizing the words ‘death wish’ — dog whistle invitation to Trump’s extremist supporters — same Trump who believed his own VP Pence deserved to be lynched by the angry Jan. 6 mob Trump incited to violence,” Wu added.

Janai Nelson, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, wrote, “I double dare all major media outlets to call this what it is: thinly-veiled incitement to violence and overt racism.”

Podcaster Fred Wellman said, “Elaine Chao was Trump’s Secretary of Transportation for 4 years and he just called her the ridiculously racist nickname ‘Coco Chow.’ Yes…you are a racist if you still support this broken *sshole.”

Jonah Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of The Dispatch, wrote, “Look, I think the gross bigotry, stupidity, dishonesty, and demagoguery of this is obvious on so many levels and I’m embarrassed for the country. But, because no one else will, I feel I have to point out he also misspelled advice.”

 

Continue Reading

News

Republicans suggest defunding Veteran Affairs even though it helps 9 million vets

Published

on

Republican legislators are starting to suggest defunding the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the office founded in 1989 to assist with veteran needs. The VA assists with getting veterans mental and physical healthcare, educational opportunities, community support, and other everyday housing and living needs.

An Arizona legislator, captured on video participating in a mock congressional hearing, said he supported shutting down the department.

“That’s sort of what I’m thinking because … I hear no good stories. I had zero in my district,” the legislator said in a video posted by the far-right watchdog group Patriot Takes. “So I guess it’s a matter of us leading the fight to defund it.”

A second video, posted by the same account, showed Republican Florida Representative Matt Gaetz advocating for defunding the VA while speaking at an event held by FreedomWorks, a conservative and libertarian advocacy group.

“This is my question to the group. Is it savable? Why not abolish the VA, take all of the money that we are otherwise spending and go to an any willing provider system inside of our communities?” Gaetz says in the video. “And then, if people get bad care, they can vote with their feet and you don’t have a two-tier system of healthcare in this country with our veterans and then with everyone else.”

Generally speaking, Republican policies favor the privatization of all government functions, thinking that a “small government,” “free-market,” “for-profit” privatization provided by a corporation can solve any market ill.

In reality, if entire communities are deprived of VA access, U.S. military veterans will be left largely on their own to get their life needs met after militaries service. Those who lack money or transportation won’t be able to “vote with their feet” and find a local care provider to handle their specific issues… they’ll either have to spend massive amounts to get such essential care or just go without.

In late July, 41 Senate Republicans voted against a bill aimed at protecting veterans exposed to toxic materials during their military service. The legislation would have expanded care to 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. It would have also added 23 toxic and burn pit exposure-related illnesses to the VA database, Newsweek reported.

After massive blowback, Senate Republicans re-voted on the bill and helped it pass.

Patriot Takes posted the video hoping that it would encourage veterans and military members to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections.

Continue Reading

'PRIORITIES'

Red states are lining up to stop Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan

Published

on

Six red states — Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina — are suing the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden over Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for individuals making less than $125,000 a year.

The Biden administration based its plan on a 2003 law. According to the Justice Department, the law, initially meant to help military members, says that Biden can reduce or erase student loan debts during times of national emergency.

The red states’ lawsuit, filed Thursday in Missouri, said that Biden’s plan was “not remotely tailored to address the effects of the pandemic on federal student loan borrowers.” The lawsuit adds that, since Biden recently declared the COVID-19 pandemic as over, he can’t use it as a justification for his wide-scale debt relief plan, ABC News reported.

“It’s patently unfair to saddle hard-working Americans with the loan debt of those who chose to go to college,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said of her state’s lawsuit. “The Department of Education is required, under the law, to collect the balance due on loans. And President Biden does not have the authority to override that.”

The states argued that Biden’s plan inflicted a “number of ongoing financial harms” to student loan providers and also “will ultimately disrupt revenue to state coffers.” They also argued that Biden’s plan violates the Administrative Procedure Act, a law regulating how federal agencies ensure that presidential policies are well-reasoned and explained, the aforementioned publication reported.

Despite these claims, the White House has said it will continue with its plan, confident it can survive a court challenge.

“Republican officials from these six states are standing with special interests, and fighting to stop relief for borrowers buried under mountains of debt,” White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan said Thursday. “The president and his administration are lawfully giving working and middle class families breathing room as they recover from the pandemic and prepare to resume loan payments in January.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.