Pastors and elected officials are set to rally in Annapolis against same-sex marriage Monday evening, aiming to make a strong statement against the bill in advance of this week's senate hearing on the bill.
The event is being organized by the Maryland Marriage Alliance, a new coalition of mostly faith leaders who came together this year to combat the marriage bill. Supports of same-sex marriage also formed a new group called Marylanders for Marriage Equality.
One opponent, Charles Lollar, said that if the bill passes it could "further demise morality and tear away at the fundamental framework" of the state and country," according to a statement. Lollar now chairs a political action group called the New Day Maryland which is supporting the rally. He campaigned against U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer in the Nov. 2010 election and lost.
Lawmakers scheduled to speak also include state Sen. C. Anthony Muse, a Prince George's County Democrat who is mounting a primary challenge to U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin. East Baltimore Del. Cheryl Glenn, usually a strong labor vote who'se said that this year she will break with them and oppose same-sex marriage. Also, Del. Jay Walker, of Prince George's County, will take the stage.
Last year a same-sex marriage bill passed in the state Senate, but was a handful of votes short in the House of Delegates. This year Gov. Martin O'Malley made it one of his legislative priorities. His efforts encountered a roadblock last week when his wife, Katie O'Malley, referred to some opponents as "cowards." Katie O'Malley later apologized for her choice of words.
The administration's same-sex marriage bill is set for a hearing in a Senate committee on Tuesday afternoon, the forum will be the first time that the governor's new legislation is formally vetted. O'Malley has said that this bill has stronger and clearer protections for religious institutions that would not want to be involved with gay nuptials.