The greater the number of cosponsors, the more pressure on undecided legislators. Legislators will only cosponsor if they hear from their constituents. So it's up to you and me to make sure our legislators know how important this legislation is to the security and well being of LGBT families in Maryland.
Last fall, I had some simple surgery done at one of the many great hospitals in Baltimore. Although in the end everything turned out fine and I'm in great health today, there was a complication during surgery that required me to stay an extra night in the hospital, and to spend one night in the ICU. Fortunately, my surgeon has known both me and my partner for years, and was very compassionate during this stressful time. We know that we are extremely fortunate. In another hospital, with another doctor, my partner could have been completely excluded from my care. As it was, she waited for 6 hours while I was in surgery. Can you imagine if she had been told she could not see me in ICU because she was not "family"?
Without passage of this important legislation, that just as easily could have happened. A marriage license brings with it hundreds of state protections that same-sex couples in Maryland are denied. Here a just a few:
• Ability to extend health insurance benefits to a spouseWith the Court of Appeals failing to end this discrimination, the struggle to win the freedom to marry for same-sex couples now turns to our elected officials in Annapolis.
• Right to hospital visitation with and to make medical decisions for an incapacitated spouse
• Added protection for children
• Ability to inherit property without incurring tax penalties
• Ability to name your spouse as primary beneficiary of life insurance without him/her incurring tax penalties
• Right to make burial decisions
• Right to sue for wrongful death
Please join me in contacting our state legislators to ask them to support the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. A civil marriage is a civil right. Please click here to read more about the Act, and to send a message to your state legislators in Annapolis.