Olszewski Confirms Vote for Same-Sex Marriage
Olszewski: "I have preferred the implementation of civil unions, but to go another day – or let alone another year, or perhaps longer – denying equal rights to all Marylanders would be a disgrace."
Del. John Olszewski Jr. will vote in favor of same-sex marriage when the bill comes for a vote in the House of Delegates.
Olszewski, confirmed the vote in an emailed statement to Patch Thursday afternoon:
“Through the course of this debate, I have always tried to strike a balance between providing equal rights under the law and ensuring that religious freedoms remain wholly intact. That is why I worked closely with the Governor, legislative leaders, and attorneys to strengthen the religious protections in the bill. I am confident that this legislation now has some of the strongest language in the country to protect religious institutions. While members of my church – and I am sure many communities – disagree over this issue, I simply cannot vote to deny other individuals access to the same legal rights and responsibilities that are given to me and my wife by the State.
My Christian faith is important to me. It is not the role of the State to tell my church – or any other faith community – what its beliefs can and cannot be. To that end, I have preferred the implementation of civil unions, but to go another day – or let alone another year, or perhaps longer – denying equal rights to all Marylanders would be a disgrace. I will be voting for the marriage equality legislation tomorrow.”
Patch reported Wednesday morning that Olszewski was leaning toward voting in favor of the bill.
Dels. Joseph "Sonny" Minnick and Mike Weir both said yesterday that they will vote against the bill.
Olszewski is the second Baltimore County delegate to change his position on the bill in the last 24 hours.
Last night, Patch reported that Republican Del. Wade Kach had also decided to support the bill.
Members of Kach's party said the decision to support the bill could hurt Kach politically.
A preliminary vote on the bill could come as soon as Thursday evening. The House is scheduled to meet to debate the bill at 5:30 p.m.