Much love and many congratulations goes out to the great State of Maryland today because at the stroke of midnight last night, it became the 9th State (along with the District of Columbia) to legalize same-sex marriage here in the United States of America. As you may recall, fellow New England state Maine became the 8th State legalize marriage equality over the weekend and now Maryland joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington & Maine AND the District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is legal! Woot!!
Same-sex couples in Maryland were greeted with cheers and noisemakers held over from New Year’s Eve parties, as gay marriage became legal in the first southern state on New Year’s Day. James Scales, 68, who has worked for the Baltimore mayor’s office for 25 years, was married to William Tasker, 60, on Tuesday shortly after midnight by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake inside City Hall. “It’s just so hard to believe it’s happening,” Scales said shortly before marrying his partner of 35 years.
Six other same-sex couples also were being married at City Hall. Ceremonies were taking place in other parts of the state as well … “There is no human institution more sacred than that of the one that you are about to form,” Rawlings-Blake said during the brief ceremony. “True marriage, true marriage, is the dearest of all earthly relationships.” Brigitte Ronnett, who also got married, said she hopes one day to see full federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Maryland, Maine and Washington state were the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote, in November, a development Ronnett said was significant. “I think it’s a great sign when you see that popular opinion is now in favor of this,” said Ronnett, 51, who married Lisa Walther, 51, at City Hall. Same-sex couples in Maryland have been able to get marriage licenses since Dec. 6, but they did not take effect until Tuesday.
Folks, we continue to move our country forward toward true equality and justice for all. Altho we have only 9 states (and the District of Columbia) out of 50 that have legalized same-sex marriage in this country, I have high hopes that the United States of America will make SIGNIFICANT progress in moving marriage equality forward in the coming year. It’s happening, it’s actually happening. Let’s send our warmest wishes, our deepest love and heartiest congratulations to the NEWLY MARRIED folks in Maryland today and elsewhere in the world. Again, I say, WOOT!