Marriage bill to be introduced tomorrow in Maryland

I have to say, I’ve been impressed with Equality Maryland. The group really seems to have its eye on the prize.

Via press release:

On January 25, 2011, Equality Maryland, along with Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola, House Majority Leader Kumar Barve, Senator Rich Madaleno, Senator Jamie Raskin, Delegate Ben Barnes, Delegate Keiffer Mitchell and community partners who support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples in Maryland, will hold a press conference at the state capital to announce the introduction of the Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Protection Act. This bill ends the exclusion of committed same sex couples from civil marriage and protects the religious freedom of churches and synagogues.

The event is scheduled for 11 AM ET in the Legislative Service Building. There’s an impressive lineup of speakers — and, don’t forget, Governor Martin O’Malley, who won reelection by a wide margin in November, is fully supportive:

Majority Leader Rob Garagiola (District 15)

· Sen. Rich Madaleno (District 18)

· Sen. Jamie Raskin (District 20)

· Majority Leader Kumar Barve (District 17)

· Del. Benjamin Barnes (District 21)

· Del. Keiffer Mitchell, Jr. (District 44)

· Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Executive Director, Equality Maryland

· Sean Eldridge, Political Director, Freedom to Marry

· Melissa Goemann, Legislative Director, ACLU Maryland

· Maryland Representative from Catholics for Equality

· Representative from Maryland Black Family Alliance

· Representative from the Maryland NAACP

· Sister Jeannine Gramick, Maryland Coordination for National Coalition of American Nuns

· Frank DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry

· Rion Dennis, President, Progressive Maryland

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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