Gay marriage supporters to rally in Frederick -- Gazette.Net



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Supporters of a movement to alter Maryland's definition of marriage will hold an event Sunday in Frederick city.

The event, organized by religious groups, is one of several statewide planned in response to a proposed bill in the General Assembly that would allow same-sex partners to marry.

The event in Frederick will feature politicians and members of churches who support the bill. The proposed legislation would allow marriages between anyone who isn't otherwise prohibited from marrying. Currently, only marriages between a man and a woman are valid in Maryland.

Maryland law also prevents marriages between people related through blood or certain other relationships, such as stepparents — a provision which would not change in the proposed bill.

Among those expected to attend Sunday's event are state Sen. Ron Young (D-Dist. 3) of Frederick, Del. Galen Claggett (D-Dist. 3A) of Frederick and Attorney General Doug Gansler, as well as members of All Saints Episcopal Church, Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ, Grace United Church of Christ, Congregation Kol Ami and Unity in Frederick.

During the event same-sex couples will discuss problems they've encountered because of not being able to marry in Maryland, said Mary Ellen Rhoderick, who's helping to publicize the event.

The event's organizers are hoping to show that the faith community is not universally opposed to allowing same-sex couples to marry, she said.

"We see it as a justice issue," Rhoderick said.

The coalition formed after a similar proposal failed in the General Assembly during last year’s legislative session.

Monday will bring a rally in Annapolis of faith leaders and community organizations opposed to the bill redefining marriage.

Those organizing that event believe the current definition of marriage should be upheld and they reject Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D) attempt to redefine marriage in the state, said Derek McCoy, director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance.

They want to make sure that elected officials understand that broad groups of Maryland residents are very concerned about the possibility of marriage being redefined, he said.

rmarshall@gazette.net