Aren’t you sick and tired of the empty promises and the shifting rhetoric from Martin O’Malley and the Democratic Party, who promise you everything and deliver nothing? Aren’t you tired of fighting for “your rights” when those rights are already inherently yours? Aren’t you angry waiting for equal protection under the law to guarantee you the same safeguards as everyone else? Don’t you resent working hard just to make sure legislation aimed at rolling back the gains you’ve made doesn’t become law?
And aren’t you utterly disgusted by politicians, like Robert Ehrlich, who deny you your right to legal marriage because of a belief in “traditional marriage” and O’Malley, who doesn’t have the guts to say he will sign a marriage equality bill?
What is wrong with these politicians? While you fight for the right to live in peace and marry the person you love, they placate the very groups guided by hate and fear who oppose you because of who and how you love. Every move they make is calculated to ensure their reelection and if they have to sacrifice the LGBTQ community to get it, they will do it every time. They want and need your votes, but they want and need those other votes more. They keep you dangling on the end of their dulcet promise of wait a little longer while they shift and spin and in doing so guarantee your struggle will go on and on while you wait and wait.
That struggle has been far too long already and while it has been marked by significant victories, no thanks to either O’Malley or Ehrlich, it has seen far too many defeats. Yes, there has been good legislation passed, but gender identity anti-discrimination and marriage equality languish in Maryland’s General Assembly and may do so a long time to come.
There is a solution and it’s been in front of us all the time: support, work for and, most importantly, vote for the party and its candidates who will represent and fight for you: the Green Party. I am Maria Allwine, the Green Party candidate for governor of Maryland and I have always publicly fought for the LGBTQ community for one reason only – because it is the moral, just and right thing to do.
I work with progressive legislators in the Maryland General Assembly on many issues and lobby with Equality Maryland. When I ran for Baltimore City Council president in 2007 (I received 17 percent of the vote), I was the only candidate to state unequivocal support for marriage equality on my website, campaign literature and at public speaking events. How can anyone running for elected office do any less?
One of the 10 Key Values of The Green Party is ending discrimination and fighting for gender and sexual equality and an end to homophobia. Green Party candidates across the country always publicly support these goals and yet we are rarely endorsed by the LGBTQ community. It’s time for that to change.
I strongly believe that until the LGBTQ community cuts the umbilical cord to the Democratic Party, you will struggle for a much longer time than you would if you support candidates who fight for you because we know it’s right, not because we covet your votes. It can no longer be enough for elected officials to “believe” in you, if they’re not fighting for you, their belief means nothing in the long run.
Even if I do not win, by supporting and voting for me, you will send a strong message to the Democratic Party that the LGBTQ community will wait no longer and will now support candidates who fight for you. Only when the constituencies that the Democratic Party takes for granted (and no longer represents or fights for) break from that party and support candidates who deserve it, will anything change for the better. You know as I do that Martin O’Malley and Robert Ehrlich are two sides of the same coin with minor differences. The election of either of them guarantees that the LGBTQ community will continue to be ignored and will continue to struggle for rights that are already inherently yours.
Aren’t you sick and tired of the utter lack of courage and political will on Martin O’Malley’s part and the absolute immorality of Robert Ehrlich’s stand on marriage equality? I know I am and have been for a long time. It’s time to leave them and their parties in the dust and join with me and the Green Party. I ask for your vote on Nov. 2.
Maria Allwine is the Maryland Green Party candidate for governor. Reach her via allwineforgovernor.org.