Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is part of a bipartisan effort launched Monday to deepen support nationally for same-sex marriage among moderate and independent voters.
O’Malley’s involvement in the “Commitment Campaign” comes as he prepares to push a gay-marriage bill in Maryland General Assembly session that starts in January.
The stated aim of the campaign, spearheaded by the think tank Third Way, is to promote the idea that same-sex couples want to marry “so that they can make a lifetime commitment, not simply for rights and benefits.”
Besides O’Malley, others involved include former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, a Maryland resident; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.); Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee (I); and former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman (R), who later became administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Americans of all walks of life want their children to live in a loving, stable, committed home — protected under the law,” O’Malley said in a statement. “By focusing on these values, the Commitment Campaign will help broaden support for marriage across the country and help states like Maryland pass marriage legislation in the near term.”
The campaign quoted Mehlman explaining his involvement this way: “Commitment, responsibility, and fidelity are values that the Republican Party has long championed, and they are values that animate my personal support for allowing gay couples to marry.”
In Maryland, both sides are gearing up for another fight over same-sex marriage next year. A bill to legalize gay nuptials passed the Senate in the last legislative session but fell short in the House of Delegates.
O’Malley announced in July that he would sponsor next year’s bill.