Six openly gay Maryland delegates are
urging House members to approve a gay marriage bill, The
Washington Post reported.
The House could begin debate on the
bill as early as Tuesday.
measure barely stumbled out of the House Judiciary Committee last
week after two members altered their votes. Supporters concede
they remain a few votes shy of a win.
The gay delegates make their appeal in
a letter addressed to colleagues.
A gay marriage law will “secure for
our families the protections that marriage – and only marriage –
provides to loving and committed couples who have pledged to spend
the rest of their lives together.”
Delegate Tiffany Alston last week
abruptly pulled her support for the measure and proposed a civil
unions amendment to the bill, which was rejected in committee.
“There will also undoubtedly be a
debate about whether the state could design some institution other
than marriage. We believe that any attempt to create a separate set
of rules for our families will be far more complicated than ending
the exclusion of our families from marriage and inevitably lead to
unequal treatment. … Marriage equality is a far simpler and more
“Colleagues, we need you,” the
letter concludes. “Please vote yes.”
“Vote yes because you know it is the
right thing to do. Vote yes because you want to stand on the right
side of history. Vote yes because every family in Maryland needs the
protections that marriage provides.”
The letter is signed by Democratic
Delegates Luke Clippinger, Bonnie Cullison, Anne Kaiser, Maggie
McIntosh, Heather R. Mizeur and Mary Washington.
Opponents of gay marriage are widely
expected to mount a referendum on the law, if approved by lawmakers.