Maryland marriage equality bill sent back to committee

After a 3-hour debate today the Maryland House of Delegates sent the Civil Marriage Protection Act back to the House Judiciary Committee for further debate.

Statement by the staff and board of our partner, Equality Maryland:

While we are disappointed the House did not vote to pass marriage equality today, we are confident we will win in the future. With so much at stake today for thousands of Maryland families, we are thankful that our legislative allies have taken such care with this vote. It is best to delay this historic vote until we are absolutely sure we have the votes to win. We look forward to working strategically with our amazing allies in the legislature, and our supporters across the state, to continue to build support for, and win, marriage equality in the Free State.

We are extraordinarily grateful to the many leaders who have stood by us throughout this journey. We wouldn’t have made it this far without their tireless dedication. We especially would like to thank our lead sponsors – Senators Rob Garagiola (D-15), Jamie Raskin (D-20) and Rich Madaleno (D-18) and Delegates Kumar Barve (D-17), Ben Barnes (D-21) and Keiffer Mitchell.  We are also extremely fortunate to have such dedicated leaders in the members of Maryland’s LGBT Caucus and proud to call them not just our partners but our friends.  Special thanks to Delegates Maggie McIntosh (D-43), Heather Mizeur (D-20), Anne Kaiser (D-14), Luke Clippinger (D-46), Bonnie Cullison (D-19), Mary Washington (D-43) and Peter Murphy (D-28).  No one could have done more to push for the passage of this legislation.

We commend the thousands of supporters across the state who made calls, sent emails, and met with their legislators to tell them why all Maryland couples should be treated fairly. Folks from all over Maryland stood up and told their stories, got involved and built grassroots support to extend to the freedom to marry to all loving and committed couples.

As a result of the tireless efforts, strong hearts, and the determination of gay and lesbian couples and our many allies it is only a matter of time before Marylanders achieve marriage equality.

Equality Maryland is more committed than ever to this fight. We’re committed to working with our allies in the legislature to redouble our efforts to ensure that our voices are heard and our rights are protected. We know our cause is just. We know that a growing majority of Marylanders believe in the same values of fairness and equality.

We must commit to this fight for the long haul, and together we will triumph!