With the promise of marriage equality soon to come to Maryland after Gov. Martin O'Malley signs the bill into law this week also comes the reality that the fight to end discrimination in the state is not yet won. "There remains a lot of work to do between now and November to make marriage equality a reality in Maryland," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, in a statement yesterday. "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."
Despite the state Senate voting 25-22 for the law mere days after the House of Delegates passed the bill last week, opponents can now begin collecting 55,726 valid Maryland voter signatures to bring the measure to referendum on the November ballot. "Every time this issue has been brought to a statewide vote, the people have upheld traditional marriage," said Maryland Catholic Conference spokeswoman Kathy Dempsey in a statement. With so many churches and clergy members voicing disagreement with the new law, the state's lawmakers are under pressure to answer to the religiously tied political views of some constituents.
But not all lawmakers. The only Senate Republican to vote for the bill, Allan Kittleman, had this to say to his base: "You don't worry about politics when you're dealing with the civil rights issue of your generation."
Read more about same-sex wedding news from across the country.
—Phillip B. Crook