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Posted at 6:51 PM ET, 03/10/2011

Md.'s first lady speaks out for same-sex marriage

By John Wagner

Katie O'Malley.jpgWith a crucial vote looming on same-sex marriage, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) isn't the only member of his household encouraging lawmakers to pass the bill.

First Lady Catherine Curran O'Malley said in an interview Thursday night that she has reached out to a couple of legislators and has spoken out on the issue in other settings as well.

Katie O'Malley, a District court judge in Baltimore, said her advocacy on the issue has been "just as a citizen."

"I would be so proud of our state if we passed this bill," she said, adding that she has not hesitated to share her views when asked.

Katie O'Malley said she has reached out to two lawmakers she knows personally: Sen. John Astle (D-Anne Arundel) and Del. John A. Olszewski Jr. (D-Baltimore County).

The first lady said she also made her position known at a recent dinner at the governor's mansion for women in the legislature and judiciary.

Astle voted gainst the bill two weeks ago in the Senate, but Katie O'Malley noted that he supported a motion to cut off debate that allowed the legislation to come to a final vote.

The first lady said she has also talked to Olszewski, who is considered a key swing vote in the House, which is expected to vote on the bill Friday. "I'm not sure what his final decision is going to be," she said.

Asked this week about his wife's advocacy, the governor said "she's her own person."

"Like many judges, I think she believes equal justice under the law is an important principle," Gov. O'Malley said.

By John Wagner  | March 10, 2011; 6:51 PM ET
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There is something odd about this issue of homosexual marriage in Maryland.

Many of the Maryland political class favor this legislation while the voters have not been heard from on this subject.

Why won't the politicians let the citizens vote on this important matter? If the voters approved it, homosexual supporters could then boost that Maryland voters were the first state to grant popular vote approval.

I imagine the politicians cannot trust voters would come to a decision that they could agree with.

Posted by: numbersch13 | March 10, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Your honor, thank you so much for standing up for equal protection under the law. One of the classiest people you'll ever meet.

@numbr, this is a representative democracy, we vote for lawmakers and they hopefully to do their best to represent their constituencies, while always remembering that the role of government in a democracy is for the majority to protect the rights of the minority, regardless of how offensive that may be to the majority when the issue is the full citizenship and inclusion of all citizens to fully participate in the institutions of our great nation.

Posted by: darrell5551 | March 10, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

numbersch13, why should I let you vote on my civil rights?

Posted by: lmjs63 | March 10, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

numbersch13, why should I let you vote on my civil rights?

Posted by: lmjs63 | March 10, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

numbersch13, why should I let you vote on my civil rights?

Posted by: lmjs63 | March 10, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"Why won't the politicians let the citizens vote on this important matter?"

For pete's sake, can you stop whining about this! Thanks to the $1 million in cash already committed by out of state groups, you will get your chance to vote. Let me repeat: YOU WILL GET YOUR CHANCE TO VOTE ON THIS. It's morally wrong that this issue will come up for a Gladiator-style thumbs up or thumbs down, but that's just how Maryland's system works and our side is ready to go. Make your case about why the bill should not be passed if you don't think it should be passed and work within the political process like every other person or group wants something to happen or not to happen. The victim complex here is just unbelievable.

Posted by: boomer400 | March 10, 2011 11:45 PM | Report abuse

@numbrs - Voters have at least been "heard" from in the sense that yesterday's blog post here on the WaPo cited a poll that Marylanders favored marriage equality by a 51-41 margin.

Posted by: vtavgjoe | March 11, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Considring whom she is married to, I can understand why she might want to try something different.

Posted by: braunt | March 11, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Sure, anyone can voice their opinion, but what good does it to if no explanation as to what the opinion is based on. Is it irrationality?

If same-sex marriage is ok for people of homosexual behavior, then it is also ok for blood-related couples, any two men friends who want a tax-write-off, as long as they are adults. Certainly, a grandma and her grandaughter who need to live together could use a tax-write-off. But same-sex marriage bills are more exclusive - just read the bills. People seems to think radical change is something very sophisticated, when actually they have no idea of the consequences to society.

Posted by: checkthewashingtonpost | March 12, 2011 3:41 AM | Report abuse

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