Maryland Governor Suggests New Push for Gay Marriage

By Matt Cover | July 21, 2011 | 2:09 PM EDT

Martin O'Malley, governor of Maryland. (AP Photo.)

( – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) suggested that he will make a statement about a renewed push for gay marriage in Maryland, saying the announcement will come either Friday or Monday.

Speaking to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, O’Malley, a Catholic, said he supports homosexual marriage and added that the recent bill passed in New York showed that the government could redefine marriage while still protecting religious liberty.

“I supported it last year, I support it now, and I believe that New York has shown that we can protect religious freedoms and equality of civil marital rights at the same time,” O’Malley said about the issue in speaking with reporters.

When asked when he might announce his support for a new push for gay marriage, O’Malley said that such an announcement would come either Friday or Monday.

“It’s either tomorrow or Monday, I’m not sure,” he said.

A story in the Washington Post reported that an announcement event with the Maryland governor had been tentatively scheduled for Friday, July 22 but may be delayed because of a presidential visit to College Park, Md.

O’Malley, who is chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, supported a push for same-sex marriage that failed earlier this year when it did not have enough votes to pass Maryland’s House of Delegates after passing the state Senate.

The legislators who said no objected to redefining marriage to include gay couples, stressing that they felt compelled to represent the interests of their church-going constituents.

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

“It turns a moral wrong into a civil right,” said Democratic State Delegate Emmett Burns Jr. said, according to a March 25 Reuters report on the debate.

According to his official biography page at the governor’s Web site, O’Malley and his wife are members of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Same-sex marriage is contrary to Catholic moral teaching because it “contradicts the nature and purposes of marriage,” according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

“It is not based on the natural complementarity of male and female,” said the bishops.  “It cannot cooperate with God to create new life; and the natural purpose of sexual union cannot be achieved by a same-sex union. Because persons in a same-sex union cannot enter into a true conjugal union, it is wrong to equate their relationship to a marriage.”