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Looking Out: Maryland leaders lodge same-sex marriage support with Supreme Court

Leaders in Maryland, including Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, pictured here at Baltimore Pride in 2013, have lodged their support for same-sex marriage with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hundreds of thousands of people -- including all of Maryland's Congressional Democrats and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake -- have officially lodged their support for same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court is set to hear arguments on April 28 in several cases where lesbian and gay couples' access to the civil institution is under dispute. The cases originated out of Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee, and put the question before the justices of whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry nationwide.

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Statements supporting that right, in the form of what are known as amicus briefs, have been filed with the court by the business community, the Obama administration, and Democrats in Congress, including all of those from Maryland.

More than 300 Republicans got into the mix as well with their own brief in support, but Rep. Andy Harris -- the lone Republican in Maryland's delegation -- was not among the signatories.

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The U.S. Conference of Mayors, for which Rawlings-Blake serves as vice president, also filed a brief in support.

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"I believe strongly in the right for same-sex couples to marry and live their lives the same as any other American," Rawlings-Blake said in a statement on the filing. "My Administration has fought hard to protect and advance the rights of LGBT Americans here in Baltimore, and I believe the Supreme Court should stand on the right side of history and support same-sex marriage."

In addition, the Human Rights Campaign said it had submitted what it called the "People's Brief," with signatures of 207,551 supporters of same-sex marriage from all 50 states. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization said it had more signatures than any other brief ever submitted to the Supreme Court.

"Each and every signature on this brief – more than 200,000 of them – is a piece of evidence that this country is ready for marriage equality," said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement. "Through this historic document, the American people, LGBT and allies alike, are standing shoulder to shoulder to insist on fairness for all. Ultimately, this brief tells a simple truth – the Constitution cannot tolerate discrimination, and it's time for all couples to be treated equally under the law."

Did you sign it?

In other LGBT-related news:

- Some LGBT candidates could pop up in the race for Sen. Barbara Mikulski's Senate seat in 2016 -- including State Sen. Richard Madaleno and former Del. Heather Mizeur.

- The Washington Blade said "vehemently anti-LGBT" Gambian President Yahya Jammeh owns a $3.5 million mansion in a Montgomery County suburb.


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