This story was updated on Oct. 9, 2012.
Same-sex marriage activists are putting a candidate at center stage Monday night at an event to raise votes, and money, to uphold a new law legalizing gay marriage in Maryland.
Jay Hutchins of Silver Spring, who is legislative director for the Greater Baltimore Committee, will join Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein and Katie Rooney to discuss same-sex marriage in a panel discussion after the DC Theatre Collective's reading of the play “8.”
Hutchins, a Democrat, is running to oust Del. Sam Arora (D-Dist. 19) of Silver Spring, who switched sides to vote against same-sex marriage when the legislature approved it this year.
“I, like many other constituents, were disappointed by the decision” Arora made, Hutchins said Monday. Hutchins finished fourth, just behind Arora, in the 2010 primary race among six Democrats vying for three delegate nominations in District 19.
“8” is a dramatization of the court challenge to Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that overturned California's law permitting gay marriage, on constitutional grounds.
Next month, Maryland voters will be asked whether they support Maryland's new Civil Marriage Protection Act, which legalizes same-sex marriage.
“We feel it is a great time to bring Jay forward on the issue and to raise awareness about his support of Question 6,” said Jenny Lynn Towns, who is directing “8” and is co-founder of the DC Theatre Collective.
Proceeds from Monday's presentation of “8” at the Round House Theatre in Silver Spring will benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights and Equality Maryland, which advocates for lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and transsexual people.
Hutchins' campaign had more than $22,000 on hand when he filed its post-election report with the state board of elections in January 2011.
“We are fundraising and anticipate that we will have what we need to be extraordinarily competitive” when voters choose state lawmakers again in 2014, Hutchins said.
Of the play, author Dustin Lance Black said “people need to witness what happened in the Proposition 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter,” according to an announcement issued by the DC Theatre Collective. Black also wrote the movies ”J. Edgar” and “Milk.”
Arora, who reported more than $5,000 on hand in his January 2011 post-election report, said that in the legislature this year he worked to close a tax loophole that cost Maryland “tens of millions of dollars.”
“I am focused on creating opportunities for all Marylanders right now,” he said.