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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Maryland: Call For Equal Rights During The Most Important LGBT Equality Week Of 2011 - This One.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

This week or next, possibly by Friday, Maryland will or will not pass a marriage equality bill, and it will likely be decided by one or two votes in their House of Delegates. (Their Senate passed it last week.)

Supporters of extending full marriage rights to same-sex couples in Maryland say they are just a few votes shy of success in the House.

This week or next, the Rhode Island legislature will start considering their marriage equality bill in earnest. Can there be a doubt that a few key on-the-fence legislators will be influenced by the success or failure of the Maryland vote?

And in a month or two, the New York Senate will, if its leadership is true to its word, be considering legalizing same-sex marriage yet again. Many eyes in that body will be focused on the results in Maryland and Rhode Island. I would not be at all surprised, should Maryland and Rhode Island fail, if New York's effort were to evaporate into the mist.

In early 2012, decisions must be made in California as to whether or not to try to repeal Proposition 8 via a ballot initiative, and in Oregon whether to put a marriage equality initiative on the ballot. There is no doubt that these decisions will be based, in >part, on what happens over the course of the next week in Maryland, and the next few months in Rhode Isl>and and New York.

There's a significant causal chain here:

Maryland -> Rhode Island -> New York -> California & Oregon

That chain includes two of the biggest states in the nation and represents, in total more than 20% of the United States.\

And the vote in the Maryland House of Delegates looks like it will succeed or fail by a vote or two.

Every call, every email to a Maryland Delegate is going to have an effect. Delegates must know that NOM and their allies aren't the only people who know how to contact them. Each Delegate represents only about 40,000 people, so contacting them will most certainly matter. And it's not like it's Republicans who will be responsible if this vote fails:


What can you do?

For want of a phone call a Delegate was lost.
For want of a Delegate Maryland was lost.
For want of Maryland Rhode Island was lost.
For want of Rhode Island New York was lost.
For want of New York, California and Oregon were abandoned, and equality set back another four years.

Summary for Marylanders: Find your Delegates here or here or here. Main page for Maryland House of Delegates here. Call now!

1 comment:

  1. when in all likelihood this is petitioned to go the ballot, how does that play out? It simply gets enough signatures and immediately gets put on the ballot that fall?