January 11, 2012 | by Kevin Naff
Md. Senate prez attacks our families

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat, denounced efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in the state in a Wednesday radio interview.

Miller said the marriage bill amounts to an “attack on traditional families.”

“I don’t want to sound like one of the Republican candidates for president, but I am what I am. My mother and father were married for 50 years, I got 5 children, I got 13 grandchildren, I’m a traditionalist.”

He noted that he committed to bring the bill to a vote last year, which passed the Senate, 25-22. It was pulled in the House when supporters determined they didn’t have the votes to pass it.

The Maryland legislative session began today in Annapolis and the marriage bill has a prominent new booster in Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Miller claimed — erroneously — that Catholic Charities is “out of business” in Massachusetts as a result of that state’s marriage equality law. Catholic Charities, of course, has opted to stop providing adoption services rather than abide by non-discrimination laws. It’s a false claim advanced this week by none other than Newt Gingrich. So Miller does indeed sound like one of the Republicans running for president.

Miller also predicted the bill would be overturned in a referendum if it passes.

It’s a disappointing way to start the session, when there’s so much optimism and energy around passing both the marriage and gender identity and expression non-discrimination bills. Of course, Miller sabotaged the trans rights bill last year, too.

“Mike Miller wants it dead, it’s that simple,” Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk told the Blade in an interview last year regarding the trans bill. “Out of 94 bills that the House passed and sent to the Senate in a timely fashion, this was the only bill that went to the Rules Committee — the only bill,” she said. The Rules Committee is where bills are sent to die.

Supporters of both bills should speak out and denounce Miller’s offensive and inaccurate comments. They are divisive and unnecessary. He is a dinosaur who came to office 40 years ago. He should keep his mouth shut and get out of the way of progress. Marriage equality is inevitable and Miller is, as usual, on the wrong side of history.

(Think Progress has audio of the interview here. )

 

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

5 Comments
  • To this GOPer Miller sounds like a good guy; he backs civil unions which I fully support. And I wish the trans movement would stand alone. Why has it become seemingly inseparably-linked to the gay movement? We’re mixing apples and oranges with the two together. The long marriage of gays and transgenders has reached the point of no return and need to be the first to seek divorce under DC’s evolving gay marriage/divorce legislation…

  • It remains to be seen how sincere O’Malley is about really working up a sweat over the Maryland marriage bill. Of course, his “observation” in advance of yesterday’s opening legislative session that he would like to impose a 17% state sales tax increase, as well as a number of other tax and fee increases, certainly blew up in his face and seems to have put blood in the water — not a good omen for advancement on other bipartisan legislative initiatives, including marriage. Unfortunately, considering all factors, passage seems like a long-shot at this point — and the danger of losing a voter referendum post-passage seems very real.

  • It is time that Mike Miller stopped mixing up his religious views with civil government. It is fine that he is religious but the state of Maryland isn’t and he shouldn’t try to foist his views on the residents of Maryland. The marriage-equality act doesn’t foist itself on any religion. Civil marriage is totally separate from religious marriage. I know that Mike Miller sits at the table and eats with gay couples and it is time he stopped fighting to keep them as second class citizens. It is offensive!

  • “He should keep his mouth shut and get out of the way of progress.”

    Kevin, it’s highly unlikely that he will stop promoting his support for traditional marriage. However, a key piece of information missing from this editorial (yet reported in the Blade) is that Miller plans to let the 2012 marriage bill go forward to a vote and expects it to pass despite his personal opposition. So wouldn’t you say that given his views, it’s somewhat remarkable that he in fact ISN’T standing in the way of progress?

  • Sowing the seeds…. when the LGBT children or grandchildren of these right-wing bigots are themselves “attacked” in the streets by homophobic wing-nuts (as happens too often now), politicians and religious leaders will sorely regret having created a competing climate of utter fear and hatred.

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