MD Governor O'Malley sticks with gay civil unions; passes marriage decisions to legislature, court, public opinion

Posted by JD Uy
September 9, 2010 5:34 PM |

''I think somehow we have to find a way to recognize rights equally. Other states have figured out a way forward. Some of them have figured that out through the legislature, others have figured it out through court cases. And I don't have a crystal ball to predict how this goes. But I do know this -- I know the people of our state well enough to know that for all of the diversities of backgrounds and opinions, that all of us want to find a way to make -- to craft our laws in such a way that it treats people equally under the law.

''And so, whether that is a civil unions bill going through the legislature, or another bill, or a court case, I think that all of us are commited to the principal of equal treatment under the law.

''I have long believed that the way to craft a compromise and a consensus to move forward is through civil unions. Should the legislature go find a way to compromise in another way, I would sign a bill like that. And there is also the possibility of a court decision as well. So, I believe that civil unions was the way to go.

''It could be public opinion and the opinion of an newly elected legislature will move beyond that and have another bill. So, hard to say, but what I think we should not do is treat people differently under the law.

''We need to find a way to support equal rights, and that's true when it comes to commited gay and lesbian couples and the unions in which they choose to enter and raise children and all the issues that go with that -- from hospital visitation rights to transfers of property, and inheritance of property and the like.

''I also was very supportive of the Attorney General's opinion that Maryland should in fact recognize unions entered into in other jurisdiction like the District of Columbia.''

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley speaking with WTOP. He was answering a caller who asked, "If you are elected, which I hope you are, what do you see ... happening in Maryland with gay marriage and recognizing civil unions from other states in Maryland?'' (WTOP)

O'Malley is a Democrat facing a tough re-election campaign from the former Republican govenor, Bob Ehrlich, who recently boasted about his vote for the anti-gay Federal Defense of Marriage Act while he was a US House Representative.

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