VIDEO: Maryland House Begins Debate on Marriage Bill Today, More Voices Urge Approval

UPDATE 12:15 PM: The House has rejected all amendments trying to derail the bill. A final vote is likely Friday, although there will also be more debate and possibly more amendment attempts.

Debate is getting underway today on the Maryland House floor for the Civil Marriage Protection Act, and people fighting for the freedom to marry are packing the chamber to show their support. You can get live updates from Equality Maryland's Twitter feed here. (@EqualityMD)

One of the people calling for passage is Del. Peter Murphy, who announced today that he is gay. He says his friends, family, and colleagues have know for years and that he's never denied it – but it seems the father and grandfather chose now as his time to come out because he wanted to show how important this measure is to everyone. His announcement emphasizes to his fellow lawmakers the fact that the gay Marylanders the bill affects are the people that we know in our everyday lives.

Another high-profile Maryland voice speaking out on marriage today is Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo. In a new YouTube video made for Standing on the Side of Love, he says

… I’m proud to be a part of something that brings Marylanders together. Another issue that should unite Marylanders that I’m quite proud about is love and marriage. And right now, an important issue in our state is whether or not to allow gay and lesbian couples who love each other to marry.

Gay and lesbian couples want to marry for similar reasons as we all do: love and commitment. It’s time to allow them the opportunity to build a family through marriage. It’s a matter of fairness. This is why I’m asking Marylanders to join me in supporting marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Having the freedom to marry means committed couples and their children will have the same crucial protections under the law as other families. Churches can always have their beliefs, but government is supposed to treat everybody the same, and that’s equal. America is supposed to be the land of the free but in order for this to be true for all of us, then we must have the ability to marry whom we love regardless of their gender.

Think about it, and join me in the land of the brave for standing on the side of love. Thank you.


Time is running out to let Maryland Delegates hear from marriage supporters – if you live in the state (or know someone who does), to be automatically connected on the phone with your representative go to