Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley on
Monday kicked off a video campaign to legalize gay marriage in the
The campaign bears a striking
resemblance to New York's effort, which was coordinated by the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights group, and
featured prominent celebrities, professional athletes, politicians
and everyday folks urging New Yorkers to support marriage equality.
In Maryland, the campaign is being
organized by Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a coalition of gay
rights groups and gay allies, which includes the HRC and the
Baltimore chapter of the NAACP.
An effort last year to legalize the
institution failed in the Maryland House of Delegates after passage
in the Senate.
In the campaign's premiere 47-second
video, O'Malley argues that marriage equality and religious freedoms
“As a free and diverse people of many
different faiths, we choose to be governed under the law by certain
fundamental principles,” O'Malley says. “Among them, equal
protection under the law for every individual and the free exercise
of religion without government intervention.”
“The legislation we plan to introduce
in the 2012 legislative session will protect religious freedom and
equality of marital rights under the law.” (The video is embedded
in the right panel of this page.)
The campaign is an effort to build
momentum on the issue now, ahead of the upcoming legislative session,
which opens in January.
The campaign “will give state
lawmakers the opportunity to see the depth and the diversity of
support for marriage equality,” Tessa Hill-Alston, president of the
Baltimore chapter of the NAACP, told The