I’ve just received an email from Julie Tagen, a constituent of Maryland state delegate Sam Arora, who explains that Sam Arora is a liar for now claiming that he never fully considered the issue of marriage equality before the 2011 vote on the matter. Arora, who ran on a platform of legalizing same-sex unions, voted against marriage equality legislation in Maryland earlier this year.
Julie Tagen is a former employee of the Human Rights Campaign and the Victory Fund, has a partner of 15 years, and lives in Sam Arora’s district, the 19th. I’ve known Julie professionally for years. Here is Julie’s letter:
I am writing to you because I am incensed about the letter I received from Delegate Sam Arora yesterday. Sam was responding to my letter asking him to support the recent marriage equality bill in the Maryland legislature. He claims in his letter that before last year, 2011, he had not considered legislating same-sex marriage. That is an outright LIE! Maybe you can get the word out about this.
I am a constituent of Sam’s in Silver Spring. When Sam was running for Delegate in early 2010, he knocked on my door and asked for my vote. We talked for some time and realized we have some mutual friends from the Hillary Clinton campaign. I asked him about his support for same-sex marriage, and told him that my partner and I have been together for 15 years and deserve the same rights as any other Marylander. He assured me that he supported same-sex marriage and would support it if he became a delegate. I was really impressed with him and encouraged my neighbors to vote for him too.
You can imagine my surprise when I received a voice message from Sam on his first day in the legislature in January, 2011. He said that he wanted me to know that he had become an original co-sponsor of the marriage equality bill and that he knew it was very important to me. I was blown away that he actually looked up my phone number to leave me that message. I told several people about this because I never had a politician remember our conversation and follow-up with me like that. It was extraordinary.
It was an even bigger surprise two months later when Equality Maryland called me to request that I call my delegate, Sam Arora, because he was wavering on the same-sex marriage bill. I told them that it was a big mistake; that Sam had personally told me he supported it and then called me about it. I told them that I would call him right away and I did. I called his office and his cell phone. I have since called him MANY times. He has never called me back. I have requested face-to-face meetings and have been ignored.
This is why i am so upset by this letter. He won’t call me back, or meet with me, and then sends me a letter that is based on a complete lie. Sam Arora is a liar. He is lying to his constituents and I think everyone should know. I think Sam Arora has no integrity and he should resign.
Thank you for listening.
Silver Spring, Maryland – 19th District