Reporting Gigi Barnett
CHEVY CHASE, Md. (WJZ) — Months before the battle to allow same-sex marriage begins in Annapolis, both sides are already rallying their troops.
As Gigi Barnett explains, groups for and against the issue are lobbying lawmakers now.
Inspired by the legal victory that cleared the way for same-sex marriage in New York this summer and backed by a promise from Governor Martin O’Malley to do the same thing with a similar bill this upcoming legislative session in Annapolis, gay rights groups are already launching an aggressive bid to legalize same-sex marriage here after several previous attempts, including one earlier this year, failed.
“The country is moving down that road and we’re so happy that Maryland is going to be in that line of success,” said Lisa Polyak.
Polyak is on the board of Equality Maryland, the state’s largest gay rights group. She says the first step to allowing same-sex marriage in the state will begin with a fundraiser Wednesday night in Montgomery County, honoring the governor for his support months before he makes good on his promise to help.
“I don’t think we can start early enough. I think it’s important to reinforce the community support that we know exists,” said Polyak.
But the opposition is building, too. Last month, Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien sent the governor a letter urging him to change his mind.
“I think every citizen’s entitled to their own opinion on matters such as these and I respect those differences of opinion,” O’Malley said.
Polyak says the next step is reaching out to supporters to ask them to get in contact with lawmakers who support same-sex marriage before the legislative session begins.
O’Malley and other lawmakers, including the state’s attorney general and comptroller, plan to attend Polyak’s fundraiser Wednesday night.
In March, a same-sex marriage bill failed to receive enough votes in the House.