Freedom to Marry, HRC, and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Applaud Maryland Senate on Passing Ma

by HRC Staff

WASHINGTON - The Maryland Senate today passed the Civil Marriage Protection Act, a bill to end same-sex couples' exclusion from marriage. Freedom to Marry, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, all of which are part of the on-the-ground work to advocate for the freedom to marry in Maryland, call on the House of Delegates to follow suit and send the marriage bill to the governor, who has promised to sign it into law.

"Today the state Senate has acknowledged the love and commitment of same-sex couples throughout Maryland who are taking care of one another, raising families, paying taxes, and contributing to their communities. When these couples join in marriage, their commitment will be strengthened, their families will share in the support and safety-net marriage brings, and it will take nothing away from anyone else," said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. "Stronger families mean a stronger community for everyone - a win-win in these tough economic times."

"Today the state Senate recognized the simple truth that recognizing the love and commitment of same-sex couples under state law will strengthen families and communities," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "This is a matter of fairness and equality and will put Maryland on the leading edge of giving loving same-sex couples the rights, responsibilities, benefits, and dignity that marriage entails, as have five other states and the District of Columbia. We thank Equality Maryland for their hard work in gaining marriage equality and the thousands of HRC members across Maryland who spoke up for fairness."

"Loving, committed couples in Maryland are a step closer to being able to better care for and protect themselves and their families thanks to today's vote by the state Senate. We're talking about people who simply want to have access to responsibilities, rights and protections already available to many others. We thank Equality Maryland for its leadership on this issue, as well as the senators who recognized our common humanity and stood for fairness today. We urge members of the House of Delegates to do the same," said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, founded in 1974 as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality. We do this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. We also analyze and report on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community.

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