Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley
rejected calls from the Catholic Church to not sponsor a gay marriage
O'Malley said he supported an effort
earlier this year to legalize gay marriage in Maryland – which
ended without a vote in the House after passage in the Senate – but
kept a low profile in the debate.
In July, the Democratic governor
announced he would sponsor a renewed effort during the upcoming
legislative session, which begins in January.
His decision came on the heels of New
York becoming the sixth state to legalize the institution.
Before he announced that he would take
on a more visible role in the fight, the Catholic Church attempted to
Edwin F. O'Brien, the archbishop of
Baltimore, wrote that such a move would “deeply conflict” with
O'Malley's Catholic faith.
“Maryland is not New York,” O'Brien
wrote in a letter to O'Malley. “We urge you not to allow your
role as the leader of our state to be used in allowing the debate
surrounding the definition of marriage to be determined by mere
political expediency. The people of Maryland deserve no less.”
On Thursday, O'Malley responded that he
was attempting to right a wrong. Both letters were made public on
Monday at the request of the media.
“I do not presume, nor would I ever
presume as governor, to question or infringe upon your freedom to
define, to preach about and to administer the sacraments of the Roman
Catholic Church,” O'Malley wrote. “But on the public issue of
granting civil marital rights to same-sex couples, you and I
“[W]hen shortcomings in our laws
bring about a result that is unjust, I have a public obligation to
try to change that injustice.”