Thursday, May 10, 2012

Politicos Discuss Impact of President Barack Obama's Marriage Equality Endorsement on MD // PLUS: Obama in Baltimore 6/12

UPDATE: Maryland Juice has received further details on President Obama's upcoming visit to Baltimore on June 12th. El Presidente will be appearing at 1:15 pm at the Hyatt on Light St in Baltimore. RSVP:

HISTORY IS COMING QUICKER THAN YA'LL THOUGHT, EH? - Yesterday the nation's political consciousness received a kick in the pants from President Barack Obama's surprise endorsement of marriage equality. Indeed, Mr. Obama seems to have a decent read on the trajectory of history on this issue. But it should be obvious to everyone by now that marriage equality really is inevitable. There may be bumps along the road, but once again, the question for Democratic officials is: when it comes to change, are you going to be a shepherd or a gatekeeper? Last night, President Obama showed what kind of leader he hopes to be - *FIST BUMP* - How about you?


LAST WARNING TO OLD-SCHOOL DEMS: Last August, Maryland Juice noted that all of the 2014 Democratic candidates for Governor came out in favor of marriage equality. Indeed, we frequently note that within Maryland, being against marriage equality (or other civil rights measures) would likely hamper the careers of most candidates seeking statewide office. One day Maryland Juice may walk readers through the math of our State's political demography to illustrate this point.

It seems clear to me that Maryland is now a broadly liberal state (unusually so), and that many Democratic politicians outside of the big three jurisdictions (MoCo, PG, B'more) have not yet grappled with the opinion shifts within their own districts' primary electorates. The Lieberman effect (aka being more conservative than warranted by your district's partisanship) exists in many pockets of Maryland's Democratic Party. Maybe our elected officials watch too much Fox News or something. I dunno.

Dear public advocates: All of this means that in 2014 it'll be time to put some war paint on. As the generations shift and the demography continues to churn in The Free State, we will have to make our presence known through the Democratic Primaries. 2014 is as good a year as any to push this effort forward. Case in point: today, Maryland Reporter published a Maryland-centric discussion of Obama's marriage equality endorsement. Their piece noted some interesting dynamics for Democrats in the future:
MARYLAND REPORTER: According to Don Kettl, dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Obama’s support could galvanize opponents of same-sex marriage....

“This could be part of a much broader trend that might really separate the two candidates on social and economic issues that younger voters care about and begin to convince younger voters that maybe they ought to show up and vote at the polls after all,” Kettl said.

Obama’s confirmed support for same-sex marriage will likely have political ramifications into the future as well. With 2016 presidential buzz already surrounding O’Malley and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who have both successfully spearheaded same-sex marriage legislation, Kettl adds that this could be a “watershed moment” for the Democratic Party.
It will be increasingly difficult for any major Democratic national figure to not back gay marriage,” Kettl said. “In all likelihood, nothing will be the same after this.

Below Maryland Juice provides a few additional responses from politicos:

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: OBAMA DID THE RIGHT THING - The Daily Beast last night published a video interview with Rep. Chris Van Hollen. In the clip below, they capture his reaction to President Obama's marriage equality endorsement:

GOV. MARTIN O'MALLEY: MARYLAND AGREES WITH OBAMA - NBC News yesterday ran Martin O'Malley's response to the Obama endorsement:
GOV. O'MALLEY: Today, President Obama affirmed that for a people of many different faiths -- a people who are committed to the principle of religious freedom -- the way forward is always to be found through greater respect for the equal rights and human dignity of all.
In Maryland, we agree.

Ultimately, we all want the same thing for our children: to live in a loving, stable committed home protected equally under the law.

REP. BARNEY FRANK: OBAMA ENDORSEMENT HELPS MD  - The Baltimore Sun yesterday published comments from Rep. Barney Frank about the Obama endorsement:
BALTIMORE SUN: U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said Wednesday night that one place President Obama's change of position to open support of same-sex marriage could have a significant impact is Maryland.

Frank, a Massachusett Democrat who is perhaps the nation's best-known openly gay elected official, said on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show that Obama's stand could be important in the state because the issue of same-sex marriage bill is expected to be a referendum question on the ballot in November.

Frank noted that Obama's former position -- favoring civil unions but opposing same-sex marriage -- was  used by opponents in 2008  in their succesful effort of reject gay marriage at the polls in California in 2008. Now, Frank said, opponents will be unable to use Obama's words against same-sex marriage in Maryland....

DC POLITICIANS APPLAUD OBAMA ENDORSEMENT - Even in neighboring Washington, DC (with its majority African American population - ahem), politicians praised President Obama's endorsement of marriage equality. [Sidebar: is the media feeding the GOP's narrative about racial divisions on this issue?]  DCist reported:
DCIST: In a tweet, Mayor Vince Gray thanked Obama and said that "bigotry should never be enshrined in our law."

In a statement, Councilmember David Catania (I-At Large), who is gay and quit the Republican Party in 2004 over its stance on marriage equality, thanked Obama while recognizing that his evolution on the issue was much like that experienced by other Americans....
Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) also joined in, saying that a "just society must provide equal protection to all of its citizens....

PRESIDENT OBAMA IN BALTIMORE ON JUNE 12TH - If you want to show President Obama some love for his re-election effort, you will have two opportunities to see him next month. The President's campaign arm, Obama for America, sent the following email invitation:
Juice –

I’ve got some exciting news to share: President Obama is coming to Maryland! On Tuesday, June 12th, he’ll be in Baltimore for two fundraisers for the campaign. This will probably be the only fundraiser the President does in MD for the entire election. If you’re planning on showing support to our President, THIS is the time to do it! Ticket prices range from $250 to $10,000. I hope you’ll be able to attend one or the other. And if you are interested in becoming a host for either event, please let me know and I can help set that up.

Get your tickets now – THIS WILL SELL OUT!

Reception with President Obama  
WHAT:                  Obama Victory Fund Reception with President Obama
WHERE:                Exact location TBD | Baltimore, MD
WHEN:                  Tuesday, June 12 | Exact time TBD
TICKETS:              $250 per person general admission | $1,000 per person includes premium section | $10,000 per person contribute/raise includes two premium reception tickets and photo
Lunch with President Obama
WHAT:                  Obama Victory Fund Lunch with President Obama
WHERE:                Home of Genine & Josh Fidler | Baltimore, MD
WHEN:                  Tuesday, June 12 | Exact time TBD
TICKETS:              $10,000 per person includes lunch & photo | $50,000 per person contribute/raise includes VIP clutch, lunch and photo

Thank you for all you do to support our President.

Jason Waskey
Maryland State Director
Obama for America


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