HRC Field Interns in Maryland to Help Make Marriage Equality a Reality
March 4, 2011 by Adrian Matanza, Regional Field Director
This post comes from Mia Goschalk and Alex Amadeo, HRC Field Interns spending time in Maryland to pass the Civil Marriage Protection Act. Mia and Alex share their thoughts and experience in Maryland.
Mia writes: Walking into the Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church yesterday evening, I was a little unsure of what to expect. I have participated in phone banks before for electoral campaigns, but this was my first time making calls about an issue that I am genuinely passionate about; marriage equality.
That night, I called 81 people. The conversations I had were and meaningful and heartfelt. Each individual I spoke with had a personal, unique story and they were all willing to share their experiences with me. I was raised in Massachusetts, where marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples is a reality.
As a senior at the University of Maryland, I want all Marylanders to have the same rights that my friends and family have in my home state. Phone banking with Equality Maryland was an exciting experience. Over the course of 2 hours, 7 volunteers were able to call 344 people, have 51 conversations, and have 32 individuals agree to call their legislatures to give their support of the marriage bill in the House, and sign up 10 volunteers for a phone bank later in the week. Overall it was a great experience and I really felt like I helped to make a difference.
Alex writes: With the vote on the Civil Marriage Protection Act coming up so soon in the Maryland House of Delegates, supporters of equality knew time was short and crucial to make sure all families had the same rights. I have been dispatched this past week to the Free State to work in tandem with Equality Maryland to garner support amongst legislators for this bill.
Today we went to Baltimore, a city I must confess I had never visited before. I quickly acclimated, however. One of the most interesting aspects of field work is the unique opportunity you have to see the world through a local’s eyes. Our task was to “stop-and-dial” people-- that is, to ask locals on the street if they would be willing to make a phone call to their legislator stressing their support for equality. It was here that you could feel the pulse of Maryland, and it was exciting to hear everyone’s stories of how this bill would potentially their friends and families for the better. I’ve had the opportunity now to work with Equality Maryland several times, and each time I am struck by the persistence and enthusiasm they exhibit. I can only hope that all this persistence and enthusiasm pays off with equality for all people in the state. We’ll be in all over the state in Maryland to win marriage equality for all Maryland families. To get involved in our efforts and work alongside Mia and Alex, contact Adrian Matanza at Adrian.Matanza@hrc.org.
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