O’Malley Vows To Fight For Marriage Equality; Says Debate Must Not Be Hurtful

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Maryland lawmakers prepare to consider a bill to legalize same-sex marriage just as the dust settles from some controversial remarks from the governor’s wife.

Derek Valcourt has more from Governor Martin O’Malley, who spoke about the issue at a national conference on gay and lesbian issues Sunday.

O’Malley is vowing to fight hard for marriage equality, but referencing the controversial remarks from his wife, he told the audience they need to choose their words carefully.

Same-sex marriage opponents will once again pick up their signs and take their message to Annapolis Monday, promising to fight back a bill that would make Maryland the seventh state in the country allowing gays and lesbians the full legal protections of marriage.

“We’re just talking about people who love each other,” First Lady Katie O’Malley said. “They want the same rights that we all have. It’s not going to affect anybody else’s marriage.”

Some of those opponents are now energized by remarks from First Lady Katie O’Malley during a speech to a national gay and lesbian group. She called Maryland lawmakers who voted against a same-sex marriage bill last year “cowards.”

“There is outrage,” Delegate Don Dwyer, a Republican from Anne Arundel County, said.

Dwyer– a leading opponent of same-sex marriage– is among those criticizing the first lady who later apologized for her choice of words.

And Sunday morning, her husband addressing the same gay and lesbian audience, said it’s important not to let hurtful words enter the debate.

“When this occasionally happens, we must also have the humility and the strength to apologize,” Gov. O’Malley said.

He has made same-sex marriage one of his top priorities for the legislative session.

A new Washington Post poll finds support on his side. Fifty percent of Marylanders say they favor same-sex marriage but 44 percent oppose it, six percent having no opinion.

But opponents are promising a show of force and a fight to the end.

“I truly believe that this bill is not going to succeed,” Dwyer said. “It’s not going to come to the House floor.”

Those opponents are promising hundreds– if not thousands– of people will show up at their rally on Lawyers Mall in Annapolis at 6 p.m. Monday.

A Senate committee is scheduled to examine the same-sex marriage bill on Tuesday.

More from Derek Valcourt
  • A. GOP

    Why is O’malley and his wife so liberal that they are ruining the state of Maryland.
    They keep shoving beliefs and crazy views down our throats like they are all mighty and righteous where do you draw the line with these people. extreme taxes extreme views and extreme idiocies!

    • Joan

      Nothing’s being shoved down anyone’s throats. Give it a rest already! I am so happy the governor is now giving these people in the statehouse EXACTLY what they asked for when stating their opposition last year. They complained that the marriage equality under the law would force churches to marry everyone. Now, the proposed law specifically states that churches do not have to marry anyone they wish not to. It’s brilliant! They now have absolutely no legal or constitutional defense for voting against the law and will simply blabber “Errr…. ummmm… I’m voting No because… uh…. it’s not right. Errrr sanctity of marriage.” It’s over! There are no more legal arguments against marriage equality. Your God is not a legal excuse to deny anyone’s civil rights. This bill will pass and go to referendum, where, unfortunately, it will likely be voted down. However, that’s okay. It is only a matter of time before we have a FEDERAL ruling granting marriage equality in all 50 states.

    • Jm McLaughlin

      I think people are upset because O’Malley is talking about raising gas taxes and attempting to tax internet purchases as a “solution” to the state’s economic issues. That for him is a done deal. No more effort or thought put into fixing it another way – the default setting is “raise taxes.” If your state is in trouble it’s because taxes aren’t high enough, and/or,purchases are going on in your state that aren’t being taxed to the fullest. End of story. And yet he seems to have boundless energy and committment to getting the same sex marriage act passed. If he put as much gusto into really solving the economic woes of Maryalnd as he is in getting this law passed, we’d be running at a surplus. I don’t care if same sex couples get married and I’m not a “coward.” I think they should be able to get married but for God’s sake, this state is drowning in taxes and debt and our Governor is oblivious to all but raising taxes and getting this law passed. Where is his ability to multi-task? Where is the emphasis on small business in this state? It’s completely upside down and that’s why people are so upset. We’re not cowards, we just want a Governor who can come up with something other than “Yep, we need to raise taxes.” It’s a lazy, dare I say it, cowardly way to attempt to fix economic problems and we deserve more than that from our Governor!!!!!

      • Joan

        Mrs. O’Malley was talking about the cowards in the state assembly who are continuing to say they’ll vote no even though the reason they said they were against the bill last year is now fixed (religious protection).

  • James Butler

    A. GOP Kind of like conservatives do?

  • RustysChaos

    MOM only has one interest. President O Malley, Gay rights, civil rights, whatever gets him elected. Hail the prophet O’Malley. O’Malley will make this a better world.

    • Joan

      Red herring. Go on and rail against O’Malley because you know you have absolutely no legal argument against why this law should not pass. You’re losing and love is winning- get over it!

  • Ernie

    A. GOP “They keep shoving beliefs and crazy views down our throats like they are all mighty and righteous”

    The religious conservatives want to tell everybody what they can’t smoke, what they can’t drink, can’t watch on TV and listen to on the radio, and who they can’t marry.

    Who’s shoving beliefs on who?

    If you don’t believe in gay marriage. . . Don’t be gay and don’t marry somebody who’s gay.

    Otherwise it will have no effect on your life.

    • Joan

      Also, like I said in my comment, the law specifically allows churches NOT to marry gay people if they so choose. It’s about CIVIL MARRIAGE, not their bigoted sacraments. They can do as they please in their backwards churches so long as I can get married in MY private church or at MY public courthouse.

  • Dave

    Maybe if Mrs. O’Malley wouldn’t categorize people who stand up for their principals as “cowards”, we could have a good debate? What do you think about that Governor? Do you have the courage to allow us, the citizens of Maryland to vote on this issue? Or are you going to ram it down our throats?

    • Joan

      Right, Dave, because liars who claimed last year that the only reason they voted no was because there were no religious protections (and now there are and they still say no) are brave, and because it’s okay to put the rights of a minority up for vote by the majority… because those two things make so much sense… right, Dave? Don’t worry, you’ll get to have your jollies by voting down this bill when it comes up on referendum in the fall. You’ll be the one who has to live with the fact that you’ll be denying CIVIL rights to people in love who are doing nothing to ruin your life, but you’ll ruin theirs.

      In November you can have your party and celebrate with a cake and some champaign that you’ll be successful in ramming your religious beliefs down my throat. That’s right, if you want to talk about throats, you’ve been the ones doing the ramming since the dawn of this nation by refusing my civil rights because of your religion. You can only ram a minority so much before they get sick of it and ram you into a reality of justice. If we really wanted to ram you we’d lobby to make straight marriage illegal. Then you’d see how it felt. Either way, you would feel a lot better if you simply kept your nose out of my business, or out of my courtroom, wedding hall, and bedroom in this case.

  • mr.right

    . Minority rule was wrong in South Africa (apartheid) and it is definitely wrong on that gay rights issue! How is it that only 2% and I’m being generous can overrule 92 % of the people whenever the people are allowed to vote on this particular issue overwhelmingly they have voted in favor of traditional marriage
    This is the same thing that happened in the state of California the same people that voted Obama into office were the same people that voted to preserve and to make traditional marriage part of the state constitution. Only the liberal elected officials have decided they don’t have to list if follow the will of the people.

    • Joan

      Right, because a minority cannot decide what THAT MINORITY can do. Why should a majority decide what a minority can and cannot do under the law? It is not as if the minority, gay people, are voting to control what straight people can and cannot do. It makes no sense. You are nuts!

  • Old Nurse2

    Rusty, I agree with you. It’s just more political pandering for votes. I’m sick of having this issue shoved down our throats. It’s just more of the ‘ol intimidation factor, that’s all.

    Not affect our own marriages? How about our families? Our children? Please don’t even try to tell me it’s not part of their agenda to gain control of our schools and kids, not to mention our churches. I don’t buy any claims that it won’t have any other effect.

    • keets

      Be a good example of your own family values and you don’t have to FIX the rest of the world to suit you.

    • Joan

      LOL. It won’t affect your marriage! Or your families… unless you have a gay person in your family who will finally be able to become an equal citizen under the law. “Your churches” are safe, don’t worry. As you well know, the proposed law flatly states that it is okay for your bigoted church to refuse to marry gay people. You can carry on with your homilies of hate. Gain control of your schools? What are you talking about? Yes, you are right, our agenda is to turn “your schools” into gay wedding chapels. Be afraid, be very afraid!

  • tylerjake

    We live in a state that is near the bottom when it comes to inviting businesses and jobs in, however an issue like this is apparently #1 on O’Malley’s agenda!

  • aj

    @Joan – you can have your opinion but want us to keep quiet so you can have your way = well as you so elequently put it – GET OVER IT – O’Malley has been the worst thing to ever happen to this state and idiots like you voted for him. I guess you like having people telling you how to live your life and then taking your money to pay for it. I for one have 3 to 5 years to retirement and my home in Delaware will be ready for me. I just wish I could afford (and thanks to OweMalley I can’t) to move now.
    By The Way Joan – No one is railing but you – did you notice that?? People on here are just telling how they feel.
    @Old Nurse2 – Thank you as I agree – it will effect our communities, our kids and their kids…

    • Keets

      How will it effect you personally?

    • Joan

      You don’t have to be quiet, but don’t expect me to be either! This has NOTHING to do with you and EVERYTHING to do with me. Did you just state that I “like having people telling me how to live my life”? Are you mentally confused? You complain about O’Malley trying to control your life even though you aren’t gay and this has nothing to do with your life. This is exactly what I am fighting against, is YOU controlling MY life. You have a fixation to try and control my life and you are using Jesus to deny me civil rights and bully me. You should be ashamed of yourself. Have you no conscience?

      • aj

        Wow – Your good – but I never once inferred Religion in my comment – you need to learn to read – and I have no shame as I have bigger things in my life then worrying about dippy people worrying about getting married and not the state of the economy that Our so called idiot government has run in the toilet. What exactly did I say that controls you? No one is controlling you but telling you that we have an opionion too and sorry but it’s not yours. Your THE IDIOT for thinking that this world should revolve around your feelings. Get over yourself. Your right I’m not gay but guess what I have wonderful friends who are and although that is their right to feel and live the way they want I don’t have to condone it. You are mentally confused – but then I wouldn’t expect a response no better than this – YOU REALLY DO NEED TO LEARN TO READ…lol Good laugh for me tonight. Thank you.

  • Undecided

    My wife has cast the first stone but don’t anyone else use hurtful words. Haven’t decided how i would vote on a referendum but do know one thing for sure .I can’t stand O’malley.

  • maryland dude

    News Flash :: Marty tells a group of gay men he stands firmly behind them.

  • hhhaaaa

    waste of taxpayers money

  • John Weathers

    For people who think it will affect your kids, your kids already know children of same-sex parents and they don’t care. Your hate will die with you.

  • KottaMan

    Opposed to this bill. MoM needs to keep his personal agenda out of the State House. He’s pandering for votes when he runs for Federal office after he’s done ruining this state. His wife is similarly disgusting and, in typical Democrat fashion, personally attacks those who disagree with her.

  • Jim Shaw

    The sodomites won’t be happy until we all live a vulgar lifstyle. I, for one, find their lifestyle disgusting and devoid of any respect for the human race. This same trash is being taught as “normal” in our government schools. Take a stand good people, this governor and his ilk must be stopped!

    • Diane King

      I don’t think the “sodomites” give a cr*p what kind of lifestyle you lead. They just want the same in return.

  • Louis Gephardt

    Wow… I keep asking for specific examples of how allowing same-sex unions will have any effect on anyone else and I never get any concrete examples. Bottom line: churches can’t be forced to do anything they don’t want to do as they’re protected by religious freedoms. That argument is a non-argument. It is old, and worn out.

    I find it reprehensible that there needs to be a special law telling someone that they can marry someone they love. I’m horrified to discover that there could be a reason why they couldn’t. The bottom line is this: it’s no one’s business who gets married to whom. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m too busy living my life, making my mortgage payment, working and trying to enjoy my time on this planet without worrying about what husband my next door neighbor just divorced. I don’t care. Why should anyone care if same-sex couples get married? How does it infringe on anyone else’s rights? The answer is: it doesn’t. Everyone is so worried about what every one else is doing. Mind your own business and let people live their lives in happiness and peace.

  • fogey0

    This idiot governor will prostitute himself to every wacko fringe group out there for his own political aspirations. Just like the illegals in state tuition making the state a magnet for illegals for more votes. What he sould be doing instead of these idiotiic initiatives is visit Delaware and find out how they function with no sales tax or Florida to learn how they survive with no income tax instead of tax, tax and mopre tax.
    Unfortunately, Maryland voters will never learn!

  • Barry Young

    First all these new taxes andnow this.O’Malley really needs to get it together!! I guess some people would sell there soul to get re-elected.

  • Enough Already

    I believe we have greater issues in Maryland to focus on. Gay marriage should not be one of them right now. How about O’Malley focus on: employment issues, education, immigration, public safety, and taxes.

  • Steve Wilson

    This is the Civil Rights movement of the ’60s all over again with the exact same people on the same sides. The GOP backed by the Religious Right, both fighting for power. The GOP, any power they can get. The Religious Right, the power to control the lives of as many people they can. Power isn’t the only thing they share.
    The GOP has always been the party of business (not people) and the Religious Right is just another business. The day is coming when we will recognize that religion is mostly a business with tax breaks it does not deserve. Main stream religious folk should be up in arms over the backdoor involvement of any church.

  • Virgo Irene

    kill this bill. Marriage is between man and woman

    • Joan

      What an enlightening argument. *Rolls eyes*

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