Prince George’s officials have taken to the airwaves in the past few days to endorse — and defend — Maryland’s new law allowing same-sex marriage.
County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) told WAMU radio host Kojo Nnamdi on Friday that he intended to vote to uphold the law — generally referred to as Question Six — when it goes before voters Nov. 6.
“It is a civil rights issue,” Baker said. “On a personal level, that’s what I plan to do.”
Baker said he was persuaded to support the measure publicly after discussing it with his daughter, who told him that because he is a leader in the county, residents should know where he stands.
Meanwhile, two of Baker’s friends and political allies — Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Dist. 47) of Cheverly and her husband, former county State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey — also went to bat for the measure, attacking claims made by opponents of same-sex marriage about the recent suspension of a Gallaudet University official.
Angela McCaskill, a diversity officer at the Washington, D.C., institution, was suspended this month for signing the petition to put Maryland’s recently adopted law before voters.
Both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage have criticized the university’s decision and called for McCaskill’s reinstatement.
An ad released last week by the Maryland Marriage Alliance uses images of McCaskill and suggests that her suspension shows that Maryland’s law does not offer the religious protections its supporters claim.
“They promised us Question 6 protects people who oppose gay marriage — but it doesn’t,” the ad states.
McCaskill’s attorney has said she does not approve of the commercial.
The Iveys appeared in a counter-ad produced by Marylanders for Marriage Equality.
“The ads attacking Question 6 just aren’t true,” Glenn Ivey says in the commercial. “As a former state’s attorney, I know that Question 6 would actually strengthen protections for religious freedom and individual views.”
The Gallaudet suspension wasn’t even in Maryland, Jolene Ivey said.
“The official should be reinstated, and supporters of Question 6, like us, have said just that,” she said.
Derek McCoy, chairman of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, told Nnamdi on Monday that the McCaskill incident was an example of the “immediate concept that’s going on right now in our culture. If you support marriage between one man and one woman … there’s consequences.”