Maryland First Lady Katie O'Malley has
blamed “cowards” for last year's defeat of a gay marriage bill,
gay weekly The
Washington Blade reported.
O'Malley made her remarks Thursday at
the annual Creating Change conference sponsored by the National Gay &
Lesbian Task Force.
Speaking to a crowd at the Baltimore
Hilton, O'Malley said, “We didn't expect the things that happened
in the House of Delegates to occur, but sadly they did, and there
were some cowards that prevented it from passing.”
The bill fizzled in the House last year
after winning the Senate's approval. A campaign against the bill
focused mostly on objections from Christian conservatives.
Governor Martin O'Malley had said he
would sign the legislation if it reached his desk, but kept the issue
at an arm's length. After last year's session ended, O'Malley
pledged to make marriage equality a priority during this year's
session and make it part of his administration's 2012 legislative
Mrs. O'Malley added that religion
should not determine civil rights laws.
“We're all very diverse and that's
what makes us strong, but religion should never play a part in what
the laws of our state are, and that's what we're trying to convey to
religious leaders who are opponents of the bill,” she said.
Speaking Tuesday, the
governor emphasized that his bill strikes a “balance” between
individual rights and religious freedom.