Metro Weekly

Maryland ditches anti-gay marriage bill: Vote blocks Emmett Burns bill, 12 to 8

”Members of a Maryland House committee on Wednesday shot down a bill that would prohibit Maryland from recognizing gay marriages validated by other states or countries.”

Update from Baltimore Sun that is reporting on the rejection of a bill from Delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr, of Baltimore County who has long-stated his opposition to equal rights for the state’s LGBT residents. Burns’ bill sought to block Attorney General Doug Gansler from allowing the recognition of same-sex marriages that have been performed legally outside of Maryland; specifying the District of Columbia’s pending marriage law as “knocking on our doors.” (Baltimore Sun)

”’I would not have been able to sit where I now sit as a member of the General Assembly during the days of discrimination based on the color of my skin,’ he said. ‘Gays and lesbians could,’ he said, because they can ‘hide’ their sexual orientation more easily.”

Emmett Burns, Maryland Delegate from District 10, again repeating his racist and anti-gay conflation that gay and lesbian civil rights do not exist because gay people could and should hide their lives and orientations in public places. He has also inferred in past comments that being gay is an interest of white people. The Sun is reporting in this article on a hearing on his bill — HB 90, ”Same Sex Marriages – Foreign Jurisdictions – Invalidity’.” In an update today, the paper reports also that the bill has been defeated. (Baltimore Sun)

At this hearing, Emmett Burns basically stated that elected gay legislators are not asked what their sexual orientation is, then contrasted that wrong-headed notion with a perception of his skin color. His tired argument is ridiculous, of course, since public officials from coast-to-coast are accused of being gay by either anti-gay conservatives or pro-gay activists on a regular basis. Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Lt. Governor Andre Bauer of South Carolina are just a couple of the many politicians in recent months who have been attacked for being out or been accused of being closeted. Burns’ argument is doubly off-mark in that he continually claims racial discrimination yet represents District 10 — an area of Baltimore County that consists largely of African-American voters.

”If H.B. 90 is enacted, it would go against longstanding legal precedent in Maryland that couples who have been legally married in another state should be treated as fully married, LGBT couples would continue to be an exception, thereby creating yet another area of law in which same-sex couples are discriminated against.”

Morgan Meneses-Sheets in a press release from Equality Maryland regarding the proposed bill HB 90, and a rally that was to be held against it. (Equality Maryland)

JD Uy has been a Metro Weekly webmaster, distribution manager, blogger and videographer since 2002.