Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Joining Equality Maryland

I was recently invited to join the Board of Directors for Equality Maryland, an organization that is leading the fight for same sex marriage equality in Maryland. Here is a portion of the essay I submitted when asked why I was interested in joining the board.

My decision to apply to serve on the Board of Equality Maryland represents another step on the road of personal engagement in the fight for marriage equality. As a law student, first traveling to New Orleans to participate in relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina and then working in Montgomery, Alabama at the Equal Justice Initiative, I bore witness to the legacy of the civil rights movement and to the importance of standing up for the disenfranchised. I was inspired by the work of Martin Luther King and learned that the civil rights struggle was not defined by the number of bullets that were fired or the amount of blood that was shed, but by the call for equality and for the recognition that all citizens are entitled to certain fundamental rights that our state and federal governments must protect.

Then, eighteen months ago, I exercised my right to marry the partner of my choosing, the woman of my dreams. Since then, I have enjoyed not only the spiritual fulfillment of sharing my life with my spouse, but also the legal benefits of being married. That enjoyment however, has been tempered by the fact that close friends and family are unable to share in the right to get married and in the benefits of marriage simply because the partner they have fallen in love with shares their gender. This message became even more personal when my cousin, who resides in New York, finally married his partner of 37 years this past Sunday and expressed to me the joy and validation of their relationship finally being recognized by the State of New York.

And, finally, in the time since I moved back to the area after law school I have become active in state and local politics. Through my work advising Luke Clippinger in his successful run for the Maryland House of Delegates, as well as my interactions with the many friends and community leaders who I have come to know, it has become clear to me that same sex marriage is among the most important and exciting initiatives of our time. Enactment of a marriage equality bill will ensure that all Marylanders enjoy the right to marry the partner of their choosing, and will reinforce the image of Maryland as a state that is welcoming to people whatever their background, their politics or their sexual orientation.

I want to be a part of Equality Maryland to take the next step in my personal journey and to have an impact on the struggle to gain statewide recognition for marriage equality.


At 9/20/2011 8:22 PM, Blogger Joel neft said...

Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof! Congrats on the wonderful honor — and may you continue helping all people, of all backgrounds and practices, to have equal opportunity.

All best from Baltimore.


At 2/10/2012 6:13 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Keep up the good fight....getting better this week! Loved your post....your blog was next to mine so just hopped over and really enjoyed it. For those of us interested in progressive polical issues, this is an important year and we need to support each other every chance we get....it could get ugly!! See you soon........Chris


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