August 26, 2010 | by Maria Allwine
Vote Green Party in Maryland

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.

9 Comments
  • Well spoken!!!

  • Need to Secure the Signature We Need on the Bills We Want

    I commend Ms. Allwine for her ardent support of equality, but even she implied that she cannot win. That means that she is asking the community to use our votes to make a statement. I am afraid that we simply cannot afford to do that this fall. We are on the verge of pushing through two major pieces of legislation – gender identity anti-discrimination and marriage for same sex couples. We have to make sure that we have someone in the governor’s office who will sign the bills when they get there. Gov. O’Malley has expressed support for the anti-discrimination bill. He even signed an Equality Maryland postcard in support of this legislation at Baltimore Pride. And he was recently quoted on WBAL stating his commitment to signing a marriage bill when it reaches his desk. This is in direct contract to our former governor who has vetoed equality bills in the past and continues to state that he would veto a marriage equality bill. We absolutely must push our lawmakers to do more and to be true advocates. But at the same time we also have to make the tough political choices to put the people in place who will help us make advances.

    • It’s amazing how O’Malley COULD have done more during his term and now PROMISES to do just that if you’ll only vote for him one more time. Just like DC Statehood … everyone’s for it, until they are in a position to actually do something about it.

  • It's time for a different approach

    Can someone tell me where is the box on my ballot where I can fill in “Even though I’m voting for you, I don’t like your position on marriage equality and I hope you will consider changing it when I lobby your office next session”? Oh yeah, there isn’t one. And that’s why your vote for any politician implies a full and complete support for their stated positions, rather than a nuanced acceptance of some and not of others. And unfortunately, you get what you vote for. When we vote for candidates that support civil unions over marriage equality, all we will get is civil unions. This is the problem that has generally led to the ongoing shift of power to the right.
    Would the major parties take notice if members of the LGBT community began voting for a third party instead? Hell yes, you better believe they would! And it would send a more powerful message that would get them jumping to support our issues than any lobbying effort after the election could do.
    When Harvey Milk first decided to run for office, other activists told him that he couldn’t possibly win and that it would be better to support someone else who could be moved on the issues. Milk didn’t agree, and look at how far he came.
    Regarding the political double speak around equality, Larry Kramer, founder of ACT UP, had this to say on Democracy Now in March 2007: “You know, until Hillary or Obama or somebody says, ‘Yes, I am for gay equality and will fight to change the laws for gay equality,’ then they’re a person who I think hates us, quite frankly. End of statement.”
    I prefer to vote for someone like Maria Allwine over the same-old politicians who will sell out people’s civil rights if it suddenly becomes unpopular.

  • James J. Madigan

    Expressing support and actually signing legislation are two different things altogether!!
    And there are more issues that Maria Allwine deserves our votes than Marriage Equality. She has strongly supported BGE-Re-regulation, something that O’Malley has not supported. Folks in Maryland have taken a beating with their utility bills, and, with BGE as campaign contributors, do you honestly think that O’Malley is going to lift a finger to rein in the rates? I don’t think so.
    All of us involved in the Ed Boyd Campaign in 2006 (in which Maria Allwine was a strong supporter) could see from BGE/CEG’s 5 figure contribution where O’Malley’s intentions stood.
    And before anyone even thinks “spoiler”, consider Maria’s 17% of the vote in the citywide elections back in 2007 (vs. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake) for baltimore City Council President. I think that those politicians with the D’s by their names are going to see that a certain letter by their names doesn’t mean a free ride. From US Senate Candidate, then state Senate candidate, and City Council President candidate, her share of the vote has increased with each election.
    Listen to her speak. Read her editorials and other public statements. Check her history of activism, and you will find a person who will fully back up what she says.
    Nobody runs for office to lose. I do recall reading the “If” word, which lends uncertainty to victory or defeat. And let’s not kid anyone–Ehrlich used votes–didn’t work for him, and O’Malley used our votes–got elected, and is hosing us. If votes are going to be “used”, why not to truly serve the people–especially when Mara Allwine is not accepting any corporate, PAC, or even union money to fund her campaign? If you believe in her, then give.
    The best message sent would be a Maria Allwine victory November 2nd.

    The writer ran as a Maryland Green Party Lt. Governor Candidate with Ed Boyd (presente’) in 2006

    • That’s not all he hasn’t even abolished the death penalty. Nor he has even introduced a living wage. One question I’d like to ask is why do legalized workers need to become citizens to vote, when they already pay taxes and yet they can’t vote? Jimmy.

  • It’s amazing how O’Malley COULD have done more during his term and now PROMISES to do just that if you’ll only vote for him one more time. Just like DC Statehood … everyone’s for it, until they are in a position to actually do something about it.

  • If I vote “green” it is not because the LGBTQ issues. Let’s be serious, where is your stand on the other 9 key points????? Education funding, jobs, the economy, environmental issues. What do I have to make a decision by the end of today??????

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