Hogan said on News Talk with Bruce DePuyt on News Channel 8 in response to a question about whether he voted for the state’s same-sex marriage law in a 2012 referendum on it that he was “originally for civil unions.”
“I was a supporter of traditional marriage,” he told DePuyt. “It’s an issue that I fully understand. The voters have made their decision. I support their decision and will uphold the law. I’ve evolved I guess on the issue.”
Hogan said marriage rights for same-sex couples, extending in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants and other social issues “are really decided in Maryland.”
“They have no part in this campaign whatsoever,” he said. “We’ve been completely focused on the issues that all Marylanders are focused on right now, and that’s economic issues.”
Hogan, who was a member of former Gov. Bob Ehrlich’s administration, told the Washington Post in June he would not seek to repeal Maryland’s same-sex marriage law if elected governor.
Hogan told the Baltimore Sun editorial board ahead of the June 24 primary that he opposes a transgender rights bill that Gov. Martin O’Malley signed into law earlier this year.
Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, welcomed Hogan’s comments on same-sex marriage.
“Hogan’s evolution on marriage equality reflects the reality of many Marylanders who have kept an open heart and open mind on this issue,” she told the Washington Blade. “It is valuable when people share their evolution to demonstrate it is possible.”
Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, echoed Evans.
“I’ve had some great conversations with the Hogan campaign over the last several weeks and it’s encouraging to see this evolution on the issue,” Angelo told the Blade. “Mr. Hogan is just one of many Marylanders who has evolved on this issue. He, like many Marylanders, evidently sees civil marriage for committed same-sex couples as no threat to his way of life, and, like an increasing number of Republicans, sees getting beyond the marriage issue as a way to grow the GOP voting base and win.”
Hogan easily defeated Harford County Executive David Craig, state Del. Ron George (R-Anne Arundel County) and former congressional candidate Charles Lollar in the Republican gubernatorial primary.
He will face Lieutenant Gov. Anthony Brown — who publicly supports marriage rights for same-sex couples and Maryland’s trans rights law that takes effect on October 1 — in the general election.