November 13, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Mizeur taps Delman Coates as running mate

Rev. Delman Coates, Rev. Al Sharpton, clergy united for marriage equality

Rev. Delman Coates (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Maryland gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur on Wednesday will formally announce a Prince George’s County pastor who backed the state’s 2012 same-sex marriage referendum as her running mate.

The Washington Post late on Tuesday first reported the Montgomery County Democrat who represents Takoma Park and Silver Spring in the state House of Delegates had tapped Rev. Delman Coates of Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton. The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday published a similar story.

Coates in February 2012 emerged as one of Maryland’s most prominent supporters of marriage rights for same-sex couples after testifying in support of a bill that would allow gays and lesbians to legally marry in the state.

Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the measure a few weeks later, but same-sex marriage opponents collected enough signatures to prompt a referendum on the law.

Coates appeared in a television ad in support of Question 6. The Prince George’s County pastor also joined Revs. Al Sharpton, S. Todd Yeary of Douglas Memorial Community Church in Baltimore and other prominent black clergy who urged Marylanders to vote for the law during a September 2012 press conference at the National Press Club in D.C.

Question 6 passed last November by a 52-48 percent margin.

“I thought it was important for me to take a stand,” Coates told the Blade during an interview in February.

Mizeur will face Attorney General Doug Gansler and Lieutenant Gov. Anthony Brown in the state Democratic primary in June.

Gansler last month tapped state Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George’s County) as his running mate. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman in June joined Brown’s campaign after he abandoned his own gubernatorial bid.

Mizeur is scheduled to formally announce Coates as her running mate later on Wednesday during a campaign rally at American Legion Post in Silver Spring.

The Montgomery County Democrat could become the country’s first openly gay governor if Maryland voters elect her to succeed O’Malley.

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

1 Comment
  • Isn’t this just typical Heather Mizeur ? She send Press Releases to main stream press outlets – but not to the Blade. In keeping with her tepid support for the marriage equality referendum, Heather only has time for the gayz when it has reciprocal benefit.

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