Wednesday, January 16, 2008

EM Statement on Passing of Sen. Britt

Equality Maryland issued the following statement over the weekend and has temporarily replaced the front page of its website with a tribute to Sen. Gwendolyn Britt:

Dear Friends,

We are saddened to report that our dear friend and hero, State Senator Gwendolyn Britt, has passed away from a heart attack. We struggle to find the words to convey the depth of our feelings at this loss, and we offer our condolences to her husband, Travis, her children, grandchildren, and entire family. Sen. Britt's loss will be felt deeply by her colleagues in the Maryland State Senate, by her constituents in Prince George's County's District 47, and by virtually everyone who knew her.

Thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Marylanders and their families only knew Sen. Britt by name, and yet this name truly meant everything to them. At a time in our nation's history where LGBT people seek champions for the equal protection of our families, Sen. Britt rose up and declared our cause her own. In a feature article on "players to watch" in the General Assembly printed just last week by the Washington Post, Sen. Britt was described as a "civil rights activist." Sen. Britt fought Jim Crow laws down south and here at home in Maryland. She spent her life seeking to correct injustices.

When Equality Maryland approached Sen. Britt about being a lead sponsor on The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, she did not hesitate or ask to think it over first. Her answer was definite, her pride apparent, her convictions solid. In the past few days, as Sen. Britt prepared to file marriage equality legislation and advocated with her senate colleagues on the issue, she made us at Equality Maryland feel that with her by our side, anything is possible. She taught us to keep the faith, never to waver from our commitment to a cause, and to speak truth to power no matter what obstacles stand in our way.

Senator Britt, we will miss your grace, your dignity, your warmth, your intelligence, your smile, your solemnity, your beauty, your hugs, and most of all, your friendship and support.

You will always be with us.

The Staff, Boards and Lobbyists for Equality Maryland