The state of Maryland surrounds Washington, D.C., whose other border is the Potomac River. For the past year, Maryland’s same-sex couples have had the opportunity to travel into the District to legally marry, but the trip may not be necessary for much longer. As D.C.’s LGBT community celebrates a year of marriage equality, the Maryland House of Delegates is preparing to vote on a marriage equality bill of its own.
One of the first gay couples to marry in D.C. last year told Metro Weekly, “Life got back to normal pretty quickly.” And so it has for most District residents, who, though they may have blinked a few times when they saw dozens of same-sex couples lined up to get marriage licenses last March, now seemingly don’t think about it much at all. Marriage is available to all committed couples, and that reality got woven into the fabric of this capital city fairly quickly.
Anti-gay forces are pulling out all the stops in Maryland now to keep a marriage equality bill from passing in this legislative session. The National Organization for Marriage is targeting certain legislators with attack mailers designed to punish them for supporting the legislation. That’s the same organization that tried and failed to stop marriage equality in D.C.
Here’s hoping Maryland lawmakers and residents take a gander over their border to D.C., where requests for marriage licenses have skyrocketed in the last year. Or look to Massachusetts, where marriage equality has been in place for nearly seven years, and where the divorce rate is one of the lowest in the country. They should read about polling in New Hampshire, where residents now overwhelmingly oppose repealing that state’s marriage equality law.
Change is hard. New things take a little getting used to. But marriage rights for same-sex couples seem to be something most people become comfortable with fairly quickly. Marylanders will too.