As Gov. Martin O’Malley
, D-Md., was preparing to announce plans to sponsor same sex-marriage legislation, the Catholic archbishop of Baltimore pressured him to change his mind. The archbishop, Edwin O’Brien sent the governor a strongly-worded letter that invoked the governor’s Catholicism, The Washington Post reports.
The letter, released after media inquiries, brought up the recently passed gay marriage legislation in New York, acknowledging it “intensified pressure on you to lend your active support to legislation to redefine marriage” and then brought up O’Malley’s faith.
“As advocates for the truths we are compelled to uphold, we speak with equal intensity and urgency in opposition to your promoting a goal that so deeply conflicts with your faith, not to mention the best interests of our society,” O’Brien wrote according to the Post.
Gay marriage legislation narrowly failed in the last legislation session in Maryland and O’Malley, who had said he would sign such a provision, was urged to take a more active role in the wake of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo successful push to get gay marriage through the state legislature. O’Brien said, “Maryland is not New York.”
“We urge you not to allow your role as the leader of our state to be used in allowing the debate surrounding the definition of marriage to be determined by mere political expediency. The people of Maryland deserve no less,” O’Brien wrote according to the Post.
In response, O’Malley, who attends Mass often and has sent his children to Catholic schools, wrote that he shared the church’s views on many subjects including repealing of the death penalty, ending poverty, and reducing infant mortality.
“I have concluded that discriminating against individuals based on their sexual orientation in the context of civil marital rights is unjust,” O’Malley wrote to the archbishop. “I have also concluded that treating the children of families headed by same-sex couples with lesser protections under the law than the children of families headed by heterosexual parents, is also unjust.”
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