Same-Sex Marriage Battle Quickly Moves to Next Arena: The Assembly

"Make no mistake -- we cannot stop," Dan Furmansky, right, executive director of Equality Maryland, said in an e-mail. Maryland ACLU attorney David Rocah is at left. (By Gail Burton -- Associated Press)
By Annapolis Notebook
Sunday, September 23, 2007

Equality Maryland, the gay-rights group on the losing side of last week's court ruling upholding the state's ban on same-sex marriage, has issued a call to arms.

"Having just faced such a heartbreaking loss, sometimes it is hard to feel energized about continuing our fight for equality," Executive Director Dan Furmansky wrote in an e-mail to supporters. "Make no mistake -- we cannot stop."

The group plans a canvassing and lobbying campaign and a major fundraising push before the start of the General Assembly's 90-day session, when several lawmakers have pledged to file a bill, called the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, that would legalize same-sex marriage.

The Silver Spring-based nonprofit group added staff workers and expanded its crew of lobbyists in Annapolis to prepare for the Court of Appeals decision.

"We believe people will be a little more inspired than normal" to give money, Furmansky said in an interview.

Equality Maryland also is working hard to build alliances in Maryland's large black community, which is divided on the issue of same-sex marriage.

On the other side, those championing a constitutional ban on gay marriage are promising a grass-roots campaign.

"There is an organized effort going on," said Del. Donald H. Dwyer Jr. (R-Anne Arundel), who has seen his bill for a constitutional amendment defeated in the legislature for three years running. "But it would be foolish for me to reveal what we're doing."

-- Lisa Rein

Taking an Accounting of Blame

Let the tax wars begin.

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