BREAKING: MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN MARYLAND VAULTS FORWARD WITH HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE'S PASSAGE OF CIVIL MARRIAGE EQUALITY BILL
This afternoon, after careful consideration, the House Judiciary Committee voted 12-10 in favor of sending Senate Bill 116 – the Civil Marriage Protection Act – for consideration by the full House of Delegates. This is an exciting step that adds even more momentum behind marriage equality in the state of Maryland.
Majority Leader, Delegate Kumar Barve (D-17), Lead Sponsor
"To me, this legislation is all about family, liberty and respect. I respect the civil liberties of same-sex couples who wish to solemnize their re lations and families in the eyes of the law. I also respect the values of those in our society who are not comfortable with same-sex relationships. Surely there is enough space in America for all of us to build our lives and families as we choose and live next to each other."
Delegate Keiffer Mitchell (D-44), Lead Sponsor and House Judiciary Committee member
"Maryland was founded based on tolerance. This issue helps to continue our tradition of a state that tolerates all of our citizens."
Delegate. Luke Clippinger (D-46), Judiciary Committee member
“This is another important step on the road to marriage equality. I'm proud to be on the Judiciary Committee so as to be able to cast this vote - I'm pleased to be part of passing this important piece of legislation.”
Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Executive Director of Equality Maryland
“Marriage provides a critical safety net for families. With this favorable vote from the committee on SB 116, we're one step closer to providing not only the same benefits, but also the respect and dignity to the thousands of gay and lesbian couples in Maryland. From every corner of the state, Marylanders have made it clear that a majority favor marriage equality. We remain cautiously optimistic about the upcoming vote on the House floor. Equality Maryland is counting on every person who supports ending the exclusion of loving same sex couples from marriage to contact their delegates and be counted in this fight to bring equality to the Free State."
Equality Maryland is Maryland's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights group, with thousands of members across the entire state. Equality Maryland includes: a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization that lobbies in Annapolis and across the state to create equal protection under the law for LGBT Marylanders and their families; a 501(c)(3) educational foundation that works to eliminate prejudice and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity through outreach, education, research, community organizing, training and coalition building; and Equality Maryland PAC, which exists to influence elections. For more information, visit www.EqualityMaryland.org.