Monday, January 30, 2012

Marriage Equality JuiceBlender: Frederick Rally Coverage, Gansler on Referendum/Legal Challenge, Video Debate & More!

UPDATE: Metro Weekly has a video of Attorney General Doug Gansler's speech at the Frederick marriage equality rally last night:

News coverage in the Free State is currently focused on the growing battle over marriage equality. Before the start of the weekend, Maryland Juice highlighted a few developments with this issue:
  1. The Tea Party announced an anti-equal rights rally tonight in Annapolis; the impetus is rumors that the form of the marriage bill will change to avoid a referendum,
  2. The Catholic Church is helping promote the Tea Party rally
  3. But their Archbishop is now stoking racial hostility to marriage equality, and 
  4. Frederick area churches organized their own rally this Sunday to fight back against propaganda claiming that marriage equality is a religious issue, rather than a social justice issue.
Here is a quick round-up of updates to these stories, along with new coverage of Maryland marriage equality:

JUICE #1 - GANSLER SAYS PLAN FOR REFERENDUM: The Metro Weekly today posted two articles discussing yesterday's marriage equality rally in Frederick, Maryland. The first article (excerpt below) flags Attorney General Doug Gansler's remarks about the possibility of a referendum. We previously noted that rumors are circulating that the law may avoid the ballot this November.
METRO WEEKLY: Maryland's Attorney General, Doug Gansler, joined a standing-room only crowd at a church in Frederick on Sunday to support gay marriage....

"Obviously the law that we have -- marriage between a man and a woman -- is unconstitutional. It defies the equal protection, it's against due process, and it will change...."

"Nobody is ever going to make any church, temple, or mosque make someone get married or not get married....."

"I think we're going to pass it this year. It'll go to referendum. That's where we're really going to need your help. And then, at the end of the day, it's going to go to court.... So, at some point, the courts are going to fix it as well. So, hang in there, work hard. We'll get this done."

JUICE #2 - VIDEO: SEN. RON YOUNG & DEL. CLAGETT: In the second Metro Weekly article today, the publication highlighted State Senator Ron Young and Delegate Galen Clagett's comments in support of marriage equality. The two Frederick officials pushed others to help with the social justice issue at church event yesterday:
METRO WEEKLY: Three important state legislators helped to rally support for Maryland's same-sex marriage bill on Sunday, Jan. 29, at a church in the city of Frederick.

Delegate Galen Clagett, Senator Ron Young, and Senator Rob Garagiola (all Democrats) were joined by Attorney General Doug Gansler. Together they addressed a capacity crowd of 200, most of whom were there to represent a diverse set of religious groups....

Galen Clagett (D-Frederick Co.) told the crowd that he was a sponsor of the House bill in 2011, and that he again signed onto the 2012 House bill earlier this week. He spoke of his past advocacy for racial equality and for the mental health community, adding that he was not afraid of change. He specifically noted that "19 Tea Party members of the 43 Repbulicans," two of which were "in our Delegation.... don't want change. But we will prevail this time."

JUICE #3 - VIDEO DEBATE: DEL. MIZEUR & DEL. VITALE: Maryland Reporter today posted a video debate with Delegates Heather Mizeur and Cathy Vitale on the topic of marriage equality:

P.S. The Frederick News-Post has a slightly different angle on the Frederick marriage equality event. Their article highlights stories from affected families and congregants. See an excerpt from their full article below:
When Rosalind Jack fell in love with a woman after a traditional 14-year marriage with two children, she soon realized she would not have the same social, economic and legal rights she took for granted as a legally married woman.

When her same-sex partner died in the late 1990s, she couldn't take possession of her ashes. She was also left in financial straits and almost wound up homeless, she said....

Mary-Ellen Rhoderick, a member of Evangelical Reformed UCC, said before the meeting that there was a sense among some who attend church and are not from the religious right that they should speak out in support of gay marriage.
Indeed, in response to Maryland Juice's dismay at the Catholic Church's aggressive involvement with the Tea Party and the anti-equal rights movement, a new group has contacted me. A group called the New Ways Ministry has reached out to highlight their position. Their website's mission statement states that they are "a gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Catholics, and reconciliation within the larger Christian and civil communities."

More on Maryland marriage equality soon!

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