Monday, January 28, 2008

Civil Marriage in Maryland: Why it's an uphill battle, and how you can help

Great post over at Pam's House Blend about the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act (Senate Bill 290 /House Bill 351). I do love many things about my adopted home state of Maryland, but it does have some odd politics.
For non-Marylanders, Maryland is a strange blue state but not an evenly blue one. All states have geographical diversity, even tiny Rhode Island, but Maryland's geography and history lead Marylanders to identify much more strongly with their locality, their county or region, than with the state. Most of the state lives within 30 minutes of the state line and ALL of the state lives within 45-50 minutes of the state line; this is not true in most of the South, in Texas, in California. Much of the state commutes out of state for work, accordingly, particularly in the wealthy DC suburbs of Montgomery and Prince George's Counties.

Within our small, oddly-stretched land area lie very diverse cultures. Yes, yes, it's true in Pennsylvania and California and Kansas too, but it's much more striking here. Most political, economic, sociological or demographic maps of the state look like really bad acid trips, and Picasso-esque gerrymandering here is almost a science into itself. The result of this is that you are better off thinking of Maryland as eight states united by a tax form: Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Southern Maryland, Western Maryland, Eastern Shore, Baltimore City, suburban Baltimore ("the County") and ex-urban Baltimore (e.g. Harford County and elsewhere).
Read more about this fight for civil rights, and learn what you can do here.

No comments: