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Changing hearts: how marriage was won in Maryland, and how we will win again in the future

Marriage equality

By Jacob Combs

Yesterday’s Los Angeles Times has a touching take on a chance event that might have made all the difference in bringing marriage equality to Maryland this week:

A chance shake-up of Maryland House of Delegates seating assignments brought Republican Wade Kach face to face with gay couples who had come to make the case for a gay marriage law, and might have proved decisive in its final passage through the state’s General Assembly on Thursday.

In an effort to get the bill to the House floor, a special joint committee was formed and legislators were left scrambling for seats. Kach, who had previously backed attempts to define marriage as between one man and one woman, found a space right next to the witness table.

“I saw with so many of the gay couples, they were so devoted to another. I saw so much love,” he said. “When this hearing was over, I was a changed person in regard to this issue. I felt that I understood what same sex couples were looking for.”

A week later, Kach voted for the gay marriage bill on the floor of the House of Delegates, one of only two Republicans to do so. Their support proved vital, as the bill squeaked through the 141-member chamber on a 72–67 vote. The bill’s passage through the Senate also was close – it passed 25-22 Thursday – and Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat and a strong supporter the law, is expected to sign it soon.

This is how the battle is won.  In the end, it’s about showing that marriage equality is about love and commitment, not about any attempt to redefine marriage or push some social agenda.  Sometimes, even as we watch the tide of public opinion shift in our favor, it’s easy to feel that it’s not shifting fast enough.  As the LA Times piece shows, changing just one heart is sometimes all it takes.


  • 1. lesbians love boies  |  February 25, 2012 at 5:56 am

    Touching and true. Thank you Wade Kach for seeing the truth.

  • 2. Rich  |  February 25, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Yes! A truly uplifting story. I only wish that those who inhabit a world of hate on NOM could, just once, get to know a loving, committed gay couple. There is no substitute for the truth.

  • 3. Glen  |  February 25, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Marriage equality will be won NOT by asking for gay people to be given their due equality, but by advocating what marriage really means to people. Love and commitment.

    When the same-gender marriage movement starts adopting the language of Pro-Marriage (as opposed to Pro-Equality), is when we will start winning more and more battles. We need to talk more and more about what marriage means to people, and why it is important, why it is a valuable institution to everyone including gay couples.

    I'd like to see commercials that ask gay and straight couples… "What does marriage mean to you." Once people start thinking "YEAH, that's what marriage is really all about. Not what genitals are involved" is when you begin to change hearts and minds.

  • 4. Glen  |  February 25, 2012 at 9:54 am


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