May 16, 2012 | by Steve Charing
Marylanders thank Obama for marriage support
Martin O'Malley, gay news, Washington Blade

‘The way forward is always to be found through greater respect for the equal rights and human dignity of all,’ said Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

In the wake of President Obama’s revelation on May 9 that he supports marriage equality, a number of elected officials and leaders of LGBT organizations weighed in.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said, “Today, President Obama affirmed that for a people of many different faiths—a people who are committed to the principle of religious freedom—the way forward is always to be found through greater respect for the equal rights and human dignity of all. In Maryland, we agree.”

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake intoned, “This afternoon, President Obama boldly voiced his support for marriage equality. I am grateful that the president added his voice to the millions of Americans who are fighting to ensure all people and families are treated equally under the law.  This year, Gov. O’Malley signed legislation to expand the rights and responsibilities of marriage to all Marylanders. President Obama’s statement today reinforces our argument that marriage strengthens society and protects children.”

Trevor Ankeny, board chair of the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore said, “The president of the United States supporting marriage equality is an amazing and historic event. Regardless of his timing or even his political motivations, this is a truly momentous occasion.”

Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, said, “The president came out in support of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Although this statement does not undo the results of [the] vote in North Carolina, it does provide us with hope—the hope that people’s hearts and minds can evolve on this issue. And though this evolution may not always be on the timetable we would devise, we must embrace this historic declaration by President Obama.”

Sharon Brackett, board chair of Gender Rights Maryland, said, “We are very pleased to hear the president’s views on same-sex marriage. The reality is this has impact on any trans person who is married today, or contemplating marriage in the future.”

Lea Gilmore, founder of the Maryland Black Family Alliance, said, “This is a momentous occasion that should not be diminished in any way. I am proud that the president of the United States has clearly stated his beliefs that gays and lesbians have the right to marriage. After years of ‘evolving’ he has evolved on the side of fairness and justice. Thank you, Mr. President.”

Mark Patro, president, PFLAG-Baltimore County, said, “President Obama has shown his courage in evolving as a public figure on same-sex marriage while maintaining respect and dignity for both his office and the LGBT community. We applaud his leadership on this issue.”

Dwayne Jenkins, International Federation of Black Prides: “As he has done on so many other important and historical occasions during his political career and his first term, President Obama has again shown America the promise of possibility and equality by coming out in support of marriage equality.”

Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference: “For us in Maryland, the vote on marriage this November has nothing to do with politics.  It will be a vote on the issue of marriage itself.”

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