Gov. O'Malley's Wife Apologizes for Calling Opponents of SSM "Cowards"


Matt Palmer of the Catholic Review:

Maryland First Lady Katie O’Malley has apologized for calling members of the House of Delegates who opposed voting on changing the definition of marriage in 2011 “cowards.”

A bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in Maryland was never voted on in the House of Delegates after passing in the Senate last year. The bill was returned to the House Judiciary Committee after a lengthy debate.

O’Malley created a firestorm Jan. 26 at the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s annual Creating Change conference in Baltimore when making the comments about the House of Delegates.

“We didn’t expect the things that happened to the House of Delegates to occur, but sadly they did, and there were some cowards that prevented it from passing,” Katie O’Malley said.

O’Malley also made comments about how religious organizations should not be involved in the debate.

... After word leaked out that Katie O’Malley made the comments, she was roundly criticized throughout the state. It forced her to release a statement the morning of Jan. 27.

“I regret my recent choice of words at the Creating Change Conference last night,” she said. “I let my feelings get the better of me. I deeply respect that there are strongly held and differing views on marriage equality in Maryland, but hope that our state’s elected officials will come together to fairly address this important issue for our families and children.”

... Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the MCC, bristled at O’Malley’s comments and defended the House of Delegates.

“It’s completely ironic that anyone would call legislators who stood up for traditional marriage cowards,” Russell said. “It took extraordinary courage on their part to withstand the arm-twisting and political pressure that they were under last year, and it will take the same kind of courage and even more this year.”