The oldest publication for gays and lesbians in the US, the Washington Blade, reported on the contentious hearing in Annapolis yesterday, here. Dwyer and Parrott suggested that Governor O’Malley take the measure to the people right away and let the voters decide. No dice!
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley remained firm in his support for a bill to legalize same-sex marriage Friday during a contentious joint hearing on the bill before two committees of the state’s House of Delegates.
After O’Malley and two prominent black ministers testified in support of the bill, the three were grilled with questions by two of the bill’s strongest opponents, Del. Don Dwyer (R-Anne Arundel County) and Del. Neil Parrott (R-Washington County).
The two delegates disputed O’Malley’s claim that the bill would protect the religious rights of those who say same-sex marriage conflicts with their faith and asked the governor to support new language in the bill that would clear it for an immediate voter referendum.
“I think the people have already spoken in a real sense by sending each of you here to make the decision on this issue,” O’Malley said in response to the delegates’ calls for a referendum.
Just a reminder that the Blade published a story back in December in which it was learned that national gay rights leaders have little faith in the Maryland activists to be able to overcome the Parrott petition machine. They didn’t exactly say that, but they did say that passing a bill wasn’t winning if it is overturned through the referendum process. Such a loss in Maryland would be a setback nationally. It would be a setback for O’Malley’s future too!