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Wednesday, January 16 2013

Catholics for Equality Applauds Introduction of Maryland's Marriage Equality Bill


News Release


Catholics for Equality Foundation Director Joseph Palacios

Catholics for Equality Applauds
Introduction of Maryland's Marriage Equality Bill

Catholic Leaders in Maryland Launch New Statewide Catholics for Equality Campaign


WASHINGTON - Catholics for Equality, a national political group of Catholics who support full civil equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, applauds leaders in Maryland for introducing the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act (SB 116), a bill which will allow same-gender couples to apply for civil marriage recognition in the state. Maryland already recognizes same-gender marriages issued in other states. Catholics for Equality also applauds pro-equality Catholic leaders in Maryland for launching a statewide campaign to mobilize support for the bill. Representatives of Catholics for Equality helped launch this effort at a press conference on Tuesday, January 25,2010.

Speaking at the event was Catholics for Equality Foundation Director Joseph Palacios. In his statement Palacios stressed the history of Maryland as a Catholic settlement and a haven for American Catholics, facing prejudice and discrimination in the broader society.

"American Catholicism has its roots in Maryland, the Catholic colony. And Catholic Marylanders have been at the forefront of living the vision of social justice and inclusion that was ushered in 50 years ago with the first Catholic President, John F. Kennedy. To be an American Catholic is to fulfill the ideals of American equality, freedom, and opportunity, as well as the ideals of Catholic love, family, and social solidarity. Today Catholics are the most socially progressive Christian denomination in the U.S."

Catholic support for equality has risen dramatically in the past year nationally, making Catholics the largest supporters of LGBT equality of any Christian denomination. A clear plurality and probable majority of Catholics in Maryland support civil marriage. A 2009 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll showed Maryland Catholics support for marriage equality at that time to be 49%, with only 43% opposing. In 2011 the 9% of undecided Catholics from that poll are likely to identify more closely with American Catholic social justice values and will have shifted into the support column.

Catholic state political leaders supporting the marriage equality bill include: Governor Martin O'Malley, State Senator Robert Garagiola and State Delegates Heather Mizeur, Anne Healey, Kathleen Dumais, Pete Hammen, Joseline Pena-Melnyk, Victor Ramirez and Mary Washington.

The level of Catholic political support for equality in Maryland is inspirational," says Catholics for Equality Executive Director Phil Attey. "From Catholic State Senator Rob Garagiola leading the bill in the state legislature to Catholic Governor Martin O'Malley pledging to sign the bill into law, Maryland Catholics are leading the social justice campaign of our generation."


Maryland Catholics Launch Online and Grassroots Campaign

Maryland Catholics for Equality

This week on Facebook, Catholic leaders in Maryland launched a new campaign to mobilize pro-equality Catholic suppport throughout their state. The new group, Maryland Catholics for Equality, will be actively involved in the two LGBT-related campaigns in this year's Maryland legislature and encourages Catholics in Maryland to join them. The group can be found online at: www.marylandcatholicsforequality.org

Grassroots efforts include mobilizing Catholic particpation in legislative hearings (February 8th Senate Hearing) and lobby days (January 31st and February 14th), holding a pro-equality Catholic town hall forum (February 24th), as well as targeted Catholic family and Catholic student organizing.



Catholics for Equality empowers pro-equality Catholics to put our faith into ethical and effective political action on behalf of the LGBT community and their families.

Catholics for Equality was founded in 2010 to support, educate, and mobilize Catholics in the advancement of freedom and equality at the federal, state, and local levels for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender family, parish and community members.

Catholics for Equality © 2010 • Catholics for Equality Foundation © 2010
PO Box 34765 • Washington, DC • 20043-4765 • tele: 202.657.6097