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Posted at 5:45 AM ET, 03/12/2011

Reaction to Md.'s same-sex marriage decision

By John Wagner

The decision Friday by the Maryland House of Delegates to shelve the same-sex marriage bill for the year prompted an outpouring of statements from interested groups and individuals. Here is a sampling:


"While we are disappointed the House did not vote to pass marriage equality today, we are confident we will win in the future. With so much at stake today for thousands of Maryland families, we are thankful that our legislative allies have taken such care with this vote. It is best to delay this historic vote until we are absolutely sure we have the votes to win. We look forward to working strategically with our amazing allies in the legislature, and our supporters across the state, to continue to build support for, and win, marriage equality in the Free State."

-- Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive director, and Charles Butler, board president


"We commend the decision of the Maryland House of Delegates to effectively reject legislation to redefine marriage. The decision to recommit the bill to committee indicates clearly that a majority of the chamber's members are opposed to this legislation, despite the enormous political pressure they were under to vote against their conscience and the interests of their constituents. This result also demonstrates the powerful impact that conscientious conviction can bring to the public square when it bears witness with respect and compassion to values with deep moral consequence."


"This is a sad day for all Marylanders who care about equality and justice. We will continue to fight for fairness for all families, and will work for the day when Maryland finally stands on the right side of history. We are heartsick that the House was not able to move the bill forward to the governor's desk. ... The Senate's passage of the bill was a historic milestone in Maryland, and we get closer and closer with each passing year. We have faith that love, fairness, and equality will prevail in the end, and we will redouble our efforts to hasten that day."

-- Melissa Goemann, legislative director


"Kudos to those brave Maryland delegates who defied the arm-twisting and political pressures to do the right thing: listen to your constituents. We pledge to be there over the long haul to help all pro-marriage Democrats, many of whom have been subject to reprehensible attacks for standing up for marriage. This victory comes from the people of Maryland whose quiet, under-reported, but extraordinary outpouring of opposition to redefining marriage is the reason for this victory. Not only did marriage win, but democracy won today.

-- Brian Brown, president


"The confidence of homosexual activists that they would be able to redefine marriage in Maryland was clearly misplaced. The opposition to this bill -- even from one of its former co-sponsors -- reflects the groundswell of opposition expressed by the people of Maryland. Particular thanks must go to the African-American pastors, church members, and delegates who spoke out against the attempted hijacking of the concept of 'civil rights.'"

-- Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies


"The truth nothing was taken away from anyone in the state of Maryland. What was granted was our ability to maintain the sanctity of marriage. What our children will under is what our parents and grandparents knew is that procreation is only possible through relations between a male and a female."

-- Rev. Joel Peebles, pastor of the 19,000-member church in Landover


"It is my firm belief that equality under the law means equality for everyone, and our laws should reflect that fundamental principle. Together, we've worked hard to protect and expand these rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered citizens in our state. It was my hope to sign a marriage equality act consistent with these progressive reforms, while protecting religious freedom in our state. As One Maryland we must work together to respect the dignity of every individual. I remain committed to working with all Marylanders to ensure that rights are protected for equally for everyone."

-- Gov. Martin O'Malley (D)

By John Wagner  | March 12, 2011; 5:45 AM ET
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