BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s same-sex marriage debate may end up being decided in the voting booth, but Gov. Martin O’Malley told a conference on Catholicism and homosexuality Friday that he believes voters will come down on the side of human dignity.

Weeks after signing same-sex marriage into law, O’Malley spoke briefly at a conference sponsored by Mount Rainier-based New Ways Ministry, which advocates full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the church and society. The group supported the same-sex marriage legislation, which now faces a referendum drive challenge. Baltimore’s Catholic archdiocese issued a statement this week noting that the group does not speak for the church.

“I’m not here as a Catholic, I’m here as the governor for all of Maryland,” O’Malley said. “Each one of us in the public arena brings with us our own perspectives, our own traditions, our own faith traditions, our own ethnic backgrounds. What we hope and what we should expect of all our leaders is when they look at the Constitution is to protect rights equally among all people.”

Other speakers at the three-day conference include former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who wrote “Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way;” Barbara Johnson, a lesbian recently denied Communion at her mother’s funeral in Gaithersburg; and retired Australian Bishop Geoffery Robinson, who was expected to call on the church to rethink its view on sexuality and equality between heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

O’Malley said after his address to the group that it was important for him to articulate what was accomplished with the same-sex marriage legislation, which he framed as a debate on how to protect religious freedoms and equal rights, and said he’ll be taking that message to people of many different faiths.

“The conversation in the General Assembly is concluded, but the conversations at workplaces and dinner tables and kitchen tables will just be starting. I have a lot of faith in people in our state. I do believe with full consideration people will come to the conclusion that as we have in the past we can protect rights more fully and equally while also protecting religious liberty,” he said.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (8)
  1. bananafish6726 says:

    O’Malley really needs to be excommunicated. The Pope needs to make clear where the Catholic church stands on this, and let the political chips fall where they may.

    1. UNCLEOLLIE says:

      That’s why you don’t see him and his wife in the same pictures. Their’s is a marriage of convenience. This decision shows he has no respect for the sacrament of marriage. But being a lifetime politition we’ll say and do anything for a vote, include sell his soul to the devil.

    2. Rev.Radical says:

      And lets excommunicate all of those darn women who want to have jobs…read Paul…MEN AND THE HEADS OF THE HOUSE!

  2. Stupidity Rules says:

    Just call him Judas for selling out. Anyone have a wooden X frame about 8 feet in height they can donate?

  3. O'Malley's right on this one says:

    First thing O’Malley has gotten right – he’s not asking the church to recognize or sanction same-sex marriages, he’s just giving same-sex couples equal consideration under the laws. Even for hetero couples, getting married in the church doesn’t count when it comes to civil law. They still have to complete the proper paperwork in order for the state to consider them married and afford them the rights and privileges granted to married persons. I really don’t know why the state doesn’t just quit calling it “marriage” and only recognize “civil unions” be they opposite sex or same sex couples. Let the church have their sacraments and keep calling it marriage if they like.

  4. 1-0-3-0 WITHERSPOON says:

    omally is smoking weed or some drug to make that appearance .try to explain sin, wrong, wow this guy is out there . or maybe he got zonked on st pattys day

  5. Truth Telling says:

    O’Malley is a great one to talk about having a “lot of faith in people in our state.” We the people have NO faith in O’Malley except knowing he is a socialist, ultra-lib, tax & spend us into oblivion, and in love with himself. He is disgusting as is his wife.

  6. Johnny BeGood says:

    Go ahead and excommunicate O’Malley because he does not respect the sacrament of matrimony. And while you’re at it, all those Catholics whom have divorced. The rules are explicit, one man and one woman for life. If you don’t then you are nothing but a hypocrite.

    I volunteer to be excommunicated by the church because I have no faith in the church’s teaching and has lost it ways. Show me where and I will volunteer. It is no longer teaching the word’s of God but an old institution run by men acting like God. Seems like people are f turning a blind eye to all the atrocities committed by the church.

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