ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Following back-to-back blizzards earlier in the month, Equality Maryland held a rescheduled Lobby Day on Feb. 22. Several hundred supporters gathered at an indoor rally in St. Anne’s Parish in Annapolis prior to meeting with individual lawmakers from around the state to discuss key LGBT-related legislative priorities.
The new indoor venue for the rally, which historically had taken place in Lawyers’ Mall outside the State House, turned out to be fortuitous as a chilly rain fell on Annapolis throughout the day and evening.
“While there is still much work to be done to create true and lasting equality throughout the Free State, we have made significant progress in recent years,” said Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Equality Maryland’s executive director. “We are confident that we will continue to gain ground in 2010.”
Several others spoke at the brief rally, including David Catania, a member of the D.C. City Council who was the lead sponsor of the marriage equality bill that will go into effect March 3.
“The fight for marriage equality is about providing couples with basic legal rights like health insurance and the critical right to visit one another in the hospital,” he said. “It is about ensuring the children who are being raised by loving, committed same-sex parents have the same safeguards as children being raised by opposite-sex parents.”
Equality Maryland is focused on the Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Protection Act (House Bill 808, Senate Bill 582). For the past several years the bill failed to make it out of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, also spoke at the rally. Keisling encouraged supporters to keep up the fight for Maryland’s Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act (House Bill 1022, Senate Bill 583).