Monday, February 14, 2011

Nancy Floreen on Marriage Equality

Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen (D-At Large) made these remarks at a press conference held just before the start of the Senate hearings.

I am proud to be here on behalf of the Montgomery County Council as chief sponsor of a resolution urging the General Assembly to enact the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act with unanimous support from colleagues.

Montgomery County has long believed in the core principle of non-discrimination. We are proud of our diverse and ever growing population. We also think it’s unfair to deny the rights of civil marriage to the over 2000 same-sex couples in Montgomery County and over 15,000 couples across the State.

“The Montgomery County Council recognizes that the opportunity to publicly and legally commit to share one’s life with the person of one’s choice is one of the most central aspects of human experience, and denial of marriage to same-sex couples is the denial of a fundamental civil right.” And it’s just not fair.

It’s not fair to couples and it’s not fair to families. Denied the freedom to marry, same-sex couples and their families are deprived of the critical safety-net that comes with marriage especially at times of great vulnerability such as birth, death, illness, disability, and unemployment.

We can no longer stand by and let these families go to Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont or DC for the recognition they want, they need, and they deserve.

Maryland is known as the “Free State” for a reason. And together, we can make it free and fair for all Marylanders.