Text of remarks made to Maryland EEO professionals at Baltimore City Community College, July 10, 2014
Names of the arrested were published in the newspapers: Jobs lost. Tenants evicted from apartments. Families were torn apart.
Gays were beaten up by straights with alarming frequency. Same-sex dancing was prohibited, as was touching. Gay sex was criminal behavior.
There were no laws on the books to protect against discrimination in employment, housing or public accommodations.
Lawrence effectively invalidated similar laws throughout the United States that purport to criminalize sodomy between consenting same-sex adults acting in private. It also invalidated the application of sodomy laws to heterosexual sex.
is to same-sex couples was discriminatory.
DOMA. In 1996, in what appeared to be a move to squash any efforts to achieve marriage equality by the states, Congress passed a veto-proof measure, which President Clinton reluctantly signed into law. It was called the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA.
Also, I know of no documented case whereby a heterosexual couple sought a divorce because a same-sex couple became married.
A lawsuit was filed in July 2004, which charged that excluding same-sex couples from marriage violates the state constitution’s guarantees of equality but the state’s Court of Appeals ruled against the 19 plaintiffs in 2007. The decision upheld the 1973 law which states that marriage is between a man and a woman but signaled that the legislature can address the issue.
However, various attempts to gain marriage equality through the legislature had failed.
The battle to defend the law was led by a coalition consisting of a wide array of social justice and LGBT organizations as well as unions and civil rights groups under the umbrella organization Marylanders for Marriage Equality.
They also used the outdated notion that being gay is a choice. The term “sexual preference” rather than the more accepted phrase “sexual orientation” was used. I don’t think there is a gay or lesbian person on earth who would state that they chose to be gay…any more than straight people can admit that they chose to be heterosexual.
Opponents argued that children do better with both a mother and a father. Credible studies have demonstrated that children do better with two parents rather than one, and that the children of gay parents are as well-adjusted and healthy as children of opposite–sex parents.
At the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1, 2013, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake officiated the first same-sex wedding in Maryland in Baltimore City Hall.