June 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm EDT | by Kevin Naff
Letter to the editor

I am writing in response to the editorial on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s remarks at the OutGiving conference held in Chicago. I know many LGBT Marylanders were disheartened to hear the governor declare his belief that our state is not ready for full marriage equality. I beg to differ. In addition to the recent Washington Post poll, which found that a majority of registered voters support extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples, Equality Maryland also commissioned a poll in the fall with a plurality of Marylanders standing behind equal protections for LGBT couples.

While his recent comments are disappointing, it is important to point out that Gov. O’Malley has a long history of supporting our community. As mayor of Baltimore, he signed into law anti-discrimination protections on the basis of gender identity or expression in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations. As governor, he has signed several relationship recognition bills into law, as well as a bill specifically protecting LGBT students.

Recently, O’Malley directed state agencies to comply with Attorney General Doug Gansler’s opinion recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages and has made multiple public statements in support of the opinion. The governor has also publicly committed to signing a marriage equality bill when it passes.

We certainly can and should expect that our governor is in stride with the current times and the growing momentum behind equal protections in both his words and his actions. The funny thing is that if O’Malley openly and unequivocally claimed all that he has done on behalf of the LGBT community, this would be a very different conversation.

Without access to civil marriage equality here at home and comprehensive statewide anti-discrimination laws, a large number of Marylanders are not being treated fairly under the law.

The election is less than six months away and we must continue to thank those who have stood by our side in the past, including Gov. O’Malley, while also pushing them to continue to work with us to realize true and lasting equality for all of Maryland’s families.

Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive director, Equality Maryland

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

  • Benedict Arnold. Another gay rights “leader” in support of maintaining our status as secondary citizens. This is getting to be pathetic. We need an uprising and it should begin at home. Goodbye Morgan Meneses-Sheets.

  • Thanks to Morgan Meneses-Sheets for bringing strategy and progress to LGBT politics in Maryland. I applaud Morgan and her colleagues at Equality Maryland for rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done. It’s easy to sit back and criticize. It’s a lot of hard work to jump into the mix and make a difference.

  • Shannon, We get it when you suck up to the Gov, because he gave you a job. But Equality Maryland isn’t hiring.

  • Easy to Whine, Hard to Work

    It is easy to sling mud when you look at things in such a simplistic way. When a leader in our community who is trying to move things forward, to ignore the complexity of a statement or strategy. To point fingers of blame and make dramatic statements rather than engaging in dialogue and helping to make real change. Stay home and complain “Sick and Tired”, while the rest of us get it done!

  • Gay Marriage is not something for O’Malley to decide anyway. It’s a judicial matter. Does the constitution’s bill of rights apply to homosexuals? Who cares what O’Malley thinks? He’s a better Governor than Erlich was and the Feds haven’t needed to investigate him for abuse of power. If Erlich thinks he has a chance after having been exposed for spying on Marylanders then he is deluding himself.

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