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03/02/2012

Brian Brown calls MD marriage law 'meaningless', 'symbolic'; doesn't believe that for a second

by Jeremy Hooper

One can call the passage and signage of a historic marriage bill any number of things. But I'm seriously shocked that even NOM would call it "meaningless" and "symbolic":

"The Maryland same-sex marriage legislation is a meaningless, symbolic act," [Brian] Brown said. "The people of Maryland, not politicians, will have the final say on marriage. And they will overturn this act of the General Assembly." [SOURCE]

This is insanity. Yesterday, Gov. O'Malley signed the freedom to marry into law. This law is scheduled to take effect on Screen Shot 2012-03-02 At 11.18.15 Am Jan 1, 2013. This is not some sort of theoretical idea -- this is a concrete advancement that will bring tangible rights and benefits to actual human beings.

Even if Brian's side succeeds in putting this on the ballot and ultimately manages to eek out a "win" at referendum, the passage and signage of the law will not have been meaningless. Every time these folks attempt to turn our fairly-enacted rights into popularity contests, it raises severe questions that everyone, from everyday citizens to esteemed judges, are forced to consider in a new light. If there's any beauty to the Prop 8 debacle, it's that it started a huge national conversation on why we don't vote on the civil rights of a minority population -- a conversation that is now playing out, successfully for us, in federal court.

So while it's on one hand understandable to hear the president of an organization whose entire investment is in making discrimination seem meaningful trying to make yesterday's action seem like nothing more than a symbol, it's a patently absurd idea to the vast number of people who value actuality above spin. And I would argue that we are at or near a point where Brian's attempt to (mis)name reality is starting to do more damage to his side's illusion than it is to our side's obvious momentum.

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