February 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm EST | by Steve Charing
Catania joins Equality Maryland rally

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Following back-to-back blizzards earlier in the month, Equality Maryland held a rescheduled Lobby Day on Feb. 22. Several hundred supporters gathered at an indoor rally in St. Anne’s Parish in Annapolis prior to meeting with individual lawmakers from around the state to discuss key LGBT-related legislative priorities.

The new indoor venue for the rally, which historically had taken place in Lawyers’ Mall outside the State House, turned out to be fortuitous as a chilly rain fell on Annapolis throughout the day and evening.

“While there is still much work to be done to create true and lasting equality throughout the Free State, we have made significant progress in recent years,” said Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Equality Maryland’s executive director. “We are confident that we will continue to gain ground in 2010.”

Several others spoke at the brief rally, including David Catania, a member of the D.C. City Council who was the lead sponsor of the marriage equality bill that will go into effect March 3.

“The fight for marriage equality is about providing couples with basic legal rights like health insurance and the critical right to visit one another in the hospital,” he said. “It is about ensuring the children who are being raised by loving, committed same-sex parents have the same safeguards as children being raised by opposite-sex parents.”

Equality Maryland is focused on the Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Protection Act (House Bill 808, Senate Bill 582). For the past several years the bill failed to make it out of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, also spoke at the rally. Keisling encouraged supporters to keep up the fight for Maryland’s Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act (House Bill 1022, Senate Bill 583).

  • Ironically, the hold-up on marriage in Maryland has been near universal opposition from the Republican minority and a few key Democrats who sit on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. These people are preventing this bill from getting a vote in the whole senate, and as such the anti-gay Dems who sit on this committee should be removed from it and relocated to other committees where they can’t cause so much harm. We don’t need bigoted Democrats any more than we need Republicans, and as such, the people in their districts should field candidates against them in the Democratic primary to get them out of the assembly.

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