|Peter Murphy (Dem. - Charles County)|
With the pending vote on Marriage Equality still in question as legislators waffle on whether or not they will support the bill, having yet another member of the legislature come out to his colleagues (MD now has 8 openly LGBT legislators) could be of inestimable help. It is much harder to vote against the rights of people you know; many of Tom Duane's fellow members of the NY Senate said that it was their personal experience of working with him that influenced them to vote in favor of a similar bill last year.
One of the sponsors of the Marriage Equality bill, Murphy told the Blade, "I think it’s a strong civil rights bill. I think it’s a fair bill because it also addresses the religious issue and doesn’t require any religious organization to practice something that goes against their teachings."
In reference to formally coming out, Murphy says, "I have never denied [being gay... I just presumed people knew." He continued, "I just come here to do my work... I’m not a big social person. I’ve never felt any pressure from anyone to be anything but what I am."
In a statement, VP of Maryland Equality Lisa Polyak said, "We’re so grateful to have Del. Peter Murphy among the LGBT Caucus of Maryland. We’re gratified that he’s a supporter of marriage equality and the gender identity bill. It shows that LGBT people live everywhere in the great state of Maryland, including in the Southern Maryland delegation. We’re always happy to have the support of Del. Murphy and now more so as a member of the LGBT Caucus."