A rally against same-sex marriage drew several hundred people Monday night to a plaza outside the Maryland State House in Annapolis, where ministers and lawmakers led the crowd in chants of “one man, one woman” and pledged to fight Gov. Martin O’Malley’s bill.
The governor’s wife, Catherine Curran O’Malley, was a popular target on Monday night, with both speakers and placards targeting her characterization last week of same-sex marriage opponents as “cowards.” The first lady has since apologized for her word choice during welcoming remarks at a gay-rights conference in Baltimore.
“I’m too big to be a coward,” Del. Jay Walker (D-Prince George’s), a former professional football player, said to the crowd’s delight on Monday night.
Walker said that he loves his Bible and acknowledged that he sins at times. But, he said, “I’m not trying to change the law to make my sinning legal.”
Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George’s) also criticized the first lady, who is a district court judge in Baltimore.
“It is wrong to engage in name-calling of decent people,” Muse said.
He questioned why same-sex marriage is a leading priority of the governor, suggesting issues including jobs, education and housing deserved more attention in the 90-day session.
Muse pledged to the crowd that he would “protect and maintain traditional marriage,” and said he was calling on his colleagues “not to be bullied” on the issue.