The Maryland House of Delegates wrappped up its first day of hearings on HB 175, one day after the Senate approved its version of the marriage equality bill by a 25 to 21 vote. "More than 100 people signed up to testify in a House Judiciary Committee hearing that spanned the entire afternoon and sprawled into an overflow room," reports The Baltimore Sun.
Among the first panelists to testify for the bill were the five lesbian members and one gay male member of the House of Delegates, who offered personal and emotional stories "of how they and their partners are considered 'strangers' under the current Maryland law," adds the Washington Blade.
Baltimore Del. Mary Washington, only the second openly lesbian African-American to be elected to a state legislature, offered powerful testimony.
I also stand before you today with a particular perspective on equality. As an African-American, same gender loving woman, I live within a myraid of historical and present day systems of inequality. And yet I prefer to consider my particular viewpoint as an opportunity. To see how people like me are disadvantaged by these systems and fight against them. And also see how people like me fight hard to create communities of love and support in spite of those systems.
The 48-year-old Washington, an environmentalist, community activist and Ph.D., was elected in 2010. She testified alongside out Dels. Maggie McIntosh, Anne Kaiser, Heather Mizeur, Bonnie Cullison, and Luke Clippinger .
Lou Chibbaro Jr at the Blade has a thorough report.
Watch Del. Mary Washington's testimony AFTER THE JUMP ...