Something Old, Something New
City Paper’s Third Annual Queer Issue
Over the last couple of years it seems like the words gay and marriage have become inextricably linked: as if the whole state—hell, the whole country—were participating in a big pep-rally cheer. We say gay. You say marriage. Gay! Marriage! Gay Marriage!
With all the talk about same-sex unions, it’s only natural to feel a little tired of hearing about the subject. But there’s no doubt it’s an important matter. Not only are same-sex couples being denied very real and very important rights because they aren’t allowed to marry, but the subject has become the scrimmage line in the fight between bigotry and equality. If we deny gay couples the right to marry, then we, as a state and as a nation, are basically saying that gay people are not as good as straight people.
So far the state of Maryland has come down on the side of equality. Judge M. Brooke Murdock of the Baltimore City Circuit Court ruled in January that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional. Now the Maryland Court of Special Appeals is preparing to hear the case in October. That’s just one month before the gubernatorial election determines whether voters want four more years of Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who has vetoed several gay-rights bills during his tenure.
This year’s Queer Issue helps you get ready for the upcoming court case and campaign season with a look back at the year in gay rights, as reported by Laura Laing, and an examination of what politicians are (and aren’t) doing to woo the gay vote, reported by Edward Ericson Jr. Auriane de Rudder finds out how tricky it can be for couples to get divorced in a state that doesn’t even acknowledge that they’re married. And while many gay couples are buying strollers and fighting to be just like everyone else, Rahne Alexander writes about what equal-rights success means for the queer community.
If you have already bitten your nails to nubs and furrowed your brow so furiously over these issues that no amount of Botox can help you, we’re offering some reading material to keep your mind off the serious issues as well. Jess Harvell talks to Mr. and Miss Gay Maryland, and City Paper’s Queer Quiz tests your knowledge of Baltimore’s gay past and present, from burning bathhouses to John Waters trivia. And lest you think we forgot what this weekend is really about, check out our annual Pride Guide for the lowdown on Baltimore Pride-related activities going on all over town.
The marriage debate still looms, but this weekend is about celebration. So grab a drink and your honey—if you’re honey-free what better time to find one?—and we’ll see you at the parade.
Special thanks to Mario Gentile for sharing with us his the wealth of knowledge and Tara Tosti for assisting us with her research skills.
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