November 2, 2012 | by Michael K. Lavers
Montgomery County mothers back Question 6
gay marriage, same sex marriage, question 6, Maryland, gay news, Washington Blade

A group of Montgomery County mothers spoke in support of Question 6 in Silver Spring on Thursday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

A group of Montgomery County mothers on Thursday expressed their support of Maryland’s same-sex marriage law.

“I’m opening my home to you all because it’s an important issue of fairness on the ballot this year in Maryland,” said retired Library of Congress librarian Marilyn Parr during a press conference outside her Silver Spring home. “I’ve gathered some women like me who believe Question 6 is about fairness and equality. I’ll let them share their stories with you, but I believe that a couple who is willing to make a lifelong commitment should be treated with the fairness I received in my own marriage. It’s the right thing to do. And it’s time that Maryland voters do the right thing and vote for fairness and equality for all families to be equal under the law.”

Silver Spring resident Jane Meier, who identified herself as a life-long Christian, said she has already voted for the same-sex marriage law.

“I voted for Question 6 because I believe in the Golden Rule and I want to raise my children in a state where we treat others as we want to be treated,” she said.

The women spoke hours after Gov. Martin O’Malley told journalists on a conference call that the campaign defending the same-sex marriage law he signed in March is in “good shape” going into Election Day.

A Goucher College poll released on Monday found 55 percent of Marylanders support marriage rights for same-sex couples in the state, compared to 39 percent who oppose them. A Baltimore Sun survey conducted between Oct. 20-23 noted only 46 percent of respondents would vote for the law. A Washington Post poll published on Oct. 18 found 52 percent of Maryland voters support Question 6, compared to 42 percent who said they oppose it.

Karin Quimby, field director of Marylanders for Marriage Equality, and others stressed that Question 6 will not force clergy who object to nuptials for gays and lesbians to marry same-sex couples.

“Every family deserves dignity, and all children need to be protected under the law,” said Susan Wilson. “We all know someone who’s gay or lesbian. They are our neighbors, our friends, our family or even members of our congregations or synagogues. And their children, who are every bit as precious as my own, deserve the securities afforded to our families under the law. In six days we all have an opportunity to provide fairness and equality for these families and children. They deserve the same protections I enjoy simply because of the person I married.”

Michelle Russo agreed.

“Marriage equality just makes sense to me,” she said. “I met the love of my life 16 years ago, and I married him three years later. I believe the gay couple down the street should be able to have the same marriage that we do. The freedom to marry should be afforded to all committee couples.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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