Governor Martin O'Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown today released the following statements regarding the Governor's decision to sponsor same sex marriage legislation in the 2012 legislative session. Last year, same sex marriage legislation was proposed and sponsored by Senator Rob Garagiola, Delegate Kumar Barve and Delegate Ben Barnes:
"Marylanders of all walks of life want their children to live in a loving, stable, committed home -- protected under the law. As a free and diverse people of many faiths, we choose to be governed under the law by certain fundamental principles or beliefs, among them "equal protection of the law" for every individual and the "free exercise" of religion without government intervention. Other states have found a way to protect both these rights. So should Maryland. The legislation we plan to introduce in the 2012 legislative session will protect religious freedom and equality of marital rights under the law."
Lt. Governor Brown:
"All Marylanders deserve to be treated equally under the law, and I look forward to joining Governor O'Malley in working with the General Assembly to pass a Marriage Equality bill that will provide the same opportunity for all who wish to marry while fully protecting religious freedoms and views. Every member of our community should enjoy the same freedoms and share the same responsibilities."