Winning Marriage in Maryland

UPDATE:  The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the 24 senate votes needed to pass the marriage bill have been secured. 

Will 2011 be the year that all loving and committed couples can marry in the Free State? Each day, it’s looking more and more clear that the answer is yes.

But we only have a short window of time to ensure that the bill passes so that thousands of loving and committed same-sex couples in Maryland receive the respect, recognition, and protections that marriage provides.

Today, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will vote on the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act (SB116) – a crucial first step towards winning the freedom to marry for all Maryland families.

Last week, I was fortunate to be in Annapolis for the first hearings on the bill as hundreds of pro-equality Marylanders flooded the statehouse to testify before the committee, and showed their support for ending marriage discrimination.

Throughout the hearing, the committee heard the personal stories of dozens of Marylanders who know that now is the time to pass this important legislation.  Everyone from Maya, a 13-year-old from Baltimore who just wants her moms to be able to marry so that her family is respected, to Frank and James, who after 33 years just want to be married in their home state – one thing is clear: Marylanders just want to be able to protect their families.

And today, the Senate will hopefully take the first step forward in extending marriage to gay and lesbian Marylanders. And should the bill pass committee, which we believe it will, it will face the largest hurdle to its passage on the Senate floor.

So how can you help?

If you’re a resident of Maryland, your Senator needs to hear from you now! Just click here to quickly send your legislators an e-mail urging them to support SB116. And once you’re finished, the folks at Friendfactor have created a simple tool that will patch you through to your Senator’s office. Just go to and you’ll be directly connected.

Not in Maryland? No worries – you can help too! E-mail this link to your Maryland friends and urge them to take action!

Freedom to Marry has had staff on the ground (including me!) for the past 3 months to ramp up the field and new media efforts needed to win. Join us in taking action to ensure that 2011 is the year that all loving and committed couples in Maryland will have the freedom to marry!