Marylanders for Marriage Equality Lobby in Annapolis
October 18, 2011 by Jess Osborn
On Monday, marriage equality supporters from across the state joined together in Annapolis to talk one on one with their legislators about why they support marriage equality. Those in attendance were buzzing with energy and anticipation. Everyone was eager to meet with their legislators to discuss this heartfelt issue.
Over 100 constituents gathered on Lawyers Mall wearing red with hope, love and determination as their accessories. The group was diverse: LGBT and straight, retirees, students, white, black, Catholics and Protestants. I was particularly moved by HRC’s Associate Director of Religion and Faith Rev. MacArthur Flournoy’s speech about standing in unity and having the courage not to give up.
Person after person spoke with to their Delegates and Senator, sharing personal stories about a friend, a niece or brother. One great story from a pastor in Baltimore County was of a lesbian couple in his congregation. One of the women in the couple grew up in that church, later coming out in her church and still attends the church. When she came out, the church took the initiative to better understand how to be accommodating. Now, she’s in a loving and committed relationship of 20 years.
The pastor also carries an interesting story. He admitted to once being opposed to LGBT rights and attending Anita Bryant rallies. After meeting his wife and after much consideration, he’s since been advocating for marriage equality.
By the end of the day we met with dozens of legislators and left with them letters and stories from constituents and their lives. We even received word that the Speaker of the House, Michael Busch, was very impressed with our work and felt an impact from the length of our reach into the legislature. We sent the message that we’re still here, and we won’t stop until we reach full equality.
If you’re from Maryland, please contact your state legislators. You can find out who they are by visiting this link: http://mdelect.net/ . Send them a handwritten letter about your personal story. Give them a call and tell them that you’re their constituent and you want them to vote for marriage equality. If you support this issue, then please get involved in the process. The more vocal we are, the more likely we will pass marriage equality.