Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery), the only out gay member of Maryland's Senate, who introduced the marriage legislation in the Senate with Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery), released a statement today in regard to the House of Delegate’s move to send the bill back to committee.
The legislation, now slated to be debated during Maryland’s 2012 session, would have granted same-sex couples in the state legal marriage recognition, while also protecting the rights of religious institutions.
Madaleno’s full statement is below:
Today, the House of Delegates did not pass the Civil Marriage Protection Act (SB 116), but instead chose to send the bill back to the Judiciary Committee for further consideration. While I share your disappointment in this news, I remain committed to the passage of SB 116. In fact, today’s action will enable us to continue fighting to provide same-gender couples the freedom to marry in Maryland. SB 116 has been passed by the Maryland Senate and remains before the House of Delegates.
Clearly, our fight for marriage equality is not over. I will continue working with my colleagues in the House to see that the Civil Marriage Protection Act receives a vote on the House floor. Whether it takes a few days, weeks, months, or even years, my commitment to marriage equality will never waiver and my belief that our families will receive the legal recognition they deserve will not falter.
Unfortunately, throughout American history, various groups of people have been subjected to discrimination and prejudice. Yet every generation of Americans has held out their hand to those who have been left out of the promise of equality. Every generation has accepted the responsibility of standing up for the rights of those who are not like them. Every generation has said, “You are not the other. You are us.”
We are not the first to fight for equality and we will not be the last. This effort is not over, nor is the effort to pass the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act (HB 235) this year. Today, we continue undeterred on our path to full equality and freedom for all.