Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

This Could be the End for Equality Maryland: Marriage News Watch for May 30, 2011

Prop 8 trial Right-wing Televising Videos

By Matt Baume

This week: The chaos at Equality Maryland has gotten so bad, the organization may have to shut down altogether. Time’s nearly run out to pass a marriage bill in New York. Catholic Charities is so unwilling to provide adoption services to gay couples that they simply abandoned 350 children to the state of Illinois this week. And it looks like the Prop 8 proponents just caught themselves in a lie.

What is going on at Equality Maryland? Six months ago, all signs indicated that the state would legalize marriage. We’d picked up more supportive legislators than ever before. We had enough votes to pass the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee. The Governor promised to sign it. We had an eight-point advantage in public opinion polls. And then suddenly, amidst betrayals from formerly supportive legislators, the House just gave up on the bill and sent it back to committee for another year.

Then things really started falling apart. At first, Equality Maryland Executive Director Morgan Meneses-Sheets said she had no plans to leave, but then announced that the board had fired her. She left at the end of April, and Equality Maryland brought in Lynne Bowman, former head of Equality Ohio, to lead the organization in the mean time.

But now, a month later, Bowman’s back in Ohio and says she doesn’t know when — or if — she’ll be coming back to Maryland.

Meanwhile, Equality Maryland announced this week that so many donors have dried up, they need 20 thousand dollars in the next few weeks, or else they’ll have to shut down operations.

The board president says the money problems are Meneses-Sheets’ fault, she says its not true, and everyone’s so busy bickering that now our opponents don’t even have to lift a finger.

So, Maryland. Get it together.

Let’s take a look at New York next. This week, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg released a lengthy speech urging his colleagues to support marriage equality. He’s also pledged to provide financial support to Republicans who vote with us.

That’s a big promise, coming from the 13th richest person in the country. But we still don’t have enough votes in the Senate.

Visit to take action now. There are just twenty one days left to pass this bill.

In Illinois, civil unions are slated to start this coming Thursday. Officials are planning celebrations all over the state, with Chicago’s official ceremony happening at 10am at Wrigley Square.

But not everyone’s celebrating. A Catholic Charities adoption organization is so opposed to placing children with parents in a civil union that they’ve decided to simply abandon the 350 foster kids they currently serve. Now the state will have to step in to take care of the children.

The fight over Minnesota’s anti-gay constitutional amendment is continuing to heat up, even though voters won’t have a chance to weigh in for another year.

This week Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the legislation — a purely symbolic act that has no legal impact, but makes for good PR. In addition, the White House issued a statement opposing the measure.

In California, we’re approaching a June 13th hearing over two important issues. The first is whether Judge Walker should have been disqualified from hearing the Prop 8 case because, as a gay man in a relationship, the outcome affected him. The second issue is whether the public should be denied access to the video record of the trial.

The Prop 8 proponents have been tying each other in logical knots over both issues. Regarding Judge Walker, their latest claim is that he should be disqualified because Prop 8 affects gay people, but not straight people.

Really. That’s what they’re saying now. They actually wrote in a court filing that no existing heterosexual marriage is affected by gay couples. Which is great! It’s what we’ve been saying all along. Apparently, Ted Olson and David Boies are so persuasive they’ve even convinced their opposing counsel.

The only problem is that that’s the complete opposite of what they were saying during the Prop 8 campaign. Remember the ads about “protecting our children” and “denying our rights“?

The whole point of those ads was telling people that gay marriage has consequences. And now they say it doesn’t? Either they were lying then or they’re lying now.

Either way, we can’t wait to see them torn to shreds in court on June 13th.

Let’s check some international headlines: This week Human Rights Watch launched a campaign to persuade Latvian officials to provide recognition to same-sex couples. Chilean activists have announced a rally for marriage in Santiago on June 25. And in France, MP Brigitte Barèges ignited a firestorm when she said that gay weddings are equivalent to “unions with animals.” After being unanimously condemned — and even called “disgraceful” by members of her own party — Barèges refused to apologize and said she was just kidding.

Those are the headlines. Click over here to subscribe to weekly updates or over here to watch some of our previous coverage, including bad news in Minnesota and the Republicans who are struggling to turn their party around on LGBT issues.

Visit for more on all of these stories, and head over to and click “Like” to get news alerts and headlines right on your wall.


  • 1. Dave in CA  |  May 30, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    So no individual heterosexual marriage is harmed by same sex marriage, only the institution of marriage for society as a whole. Huh? Isn't society defined as the collection of individuals who inhabit it?

    Sounds to me like they just lost their case.

    On the other hand, I suppose one could argue that the Civil Rights Acts "harmed" the institution of racism for society even if no individual racists themselves were harmed.

  • 2. Ed Cortes  |  May 31, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Let's not forget that we do have to get confirming rulings from judges, some of whom may try to rule against us, not for reasons of law, but possible for personal reasons.

  • 3. AnonyGrl  |  May 31, 2011 at 2:52 am

    So, when the discussion comes up about who has STANDING in the Prop 8 case, doesn't that entirely negate any previous arguments laid out by all the lawyers who are fighting FOR standing?

    I mean, if Prop 8 does not actually harm any heterosexual individual, then no heterosexual individual has standing to appeal, I would think. So unless the proponents can find a homosexual (couple? individual?) who can present a good case as to how marriage equallity would HURT THEM PERSONALLY, then it seems the case is pretty much over, wouldn't it?

  • 4. AnonyGrl  |  May 31, 2011 at 3:25 am


    Cindy Anthony, on trial in Florida for killing her child, is broadcast on the internet, and when some people missed a day and there was an uproar about it, is also being rebroadcast on the news, it seems.

    Which goes to prove that cases where the public interest is entirely pruirient, and the case itself will have NO impact on the viewers are OK to show, but a case where hundreds of thousands of actual people and families will be devastated by the results should be conducted in secret.

    What is wrong with this country?

  • 5. AnonyGrl  |  May 31, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Oops… Casey is on trial… Cindy is Casey's mother. Sorry.

  • 6. peterplumber  |  May 31, 2011 at 3:57 am

    @ AnonyGrl #4

    "What is wrong with this country? "

    Too many self centered, self serving people.

  • 7. Rhie  |  May 31, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    And the Catholic church proves ONCE AGAIN that they couldn't care less about anyone, especially children.

    How is the state going to pick up the slack? Conditions in the US Child "Protection" Service are so bad that there are twice as many children on the street as there are in orphanages, foster care, or adoptive homes.

  • 8. Marina  |  December 24, 2012 at 2:59 am

    How to get your ex to notice you? (tips to get him back)?So I’m going to this thing tignoht and there is a good chance he is gonna be there. Well we dated for awhile and fell in love and now that it is over I still think about him everyday. So wuts the best approach to show him wut he is missing out on now? Do I ignore him and let him come to me or do I go talk to him. I need as many tips as I can get. If you have got your ex back please tell me how you did it

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!