The Democrats’ marriage equality moment

John Wagner of The Washington Post relates the story of soon-to-depart Baltimore Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien’s unsuccessful effort to change Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s mind about supporting same-sex marriage in an article that tracks the Democratic party’s growing comfort with marriage equality.

O’Malley, a Catholic who earlier in his career advocated civil unions as an alternative to gay marriage, shared little when asked about his personal evolution on the issue at his July announcement. He instead couched his support by discussing legal rights and protections.

In an interview on WTOP (103.5) radio since then, the governor allowed that he previously “made a judgment .?.?. that the place for consensus, the point at which that wave would crest, if you will, was around civil unions. I think we are past that point, and I believe that the consensus that needs to be reached is on marital equality rights.”

O’Malley echoed that position this past week during remarks at a fundraiser for Equality Maryland, the state’s leading gay rights advocacy group. “There are very few issues I think that any of us can point to over the last several decades,” he said, “that .?.?. have moved as quickly as this issue has.”

The article mentions in passing that many politicians who now support marriage equality are Catholics, but it does not explore the possibility that they have changed their positions on the issue because Catholics, by and large, support civil unions or marriage equality.

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