I understand the demographics that changed Maryland into a solidly progressive "blue" state, and those that morphed Georgia and Texas into solidly conservative "red" states, but I still have to square the Maryland of today with the Maryland in which I lived in the 1960s for seven years.
Instead of warning that same-sex marriage would lead to the brainwashing of children, the right chose to emphasize a different message: that the legalization of same-sex marriage would effectively silence its opponents, barring them from acting on sincerely held religious beliefs.
As 2012 draws to a close and I reflect on the historic year that was, one of the things that I am most proud of is the role that African Americans played in helping to bring the freedom to marry for committed and loving same-sex couples to my home state of Maryland.
With so much division in the country already, why create more? My hope is that all 50 states eventually pass laws giving everyone, gay or straight, the opportunity to love who they love, and celebrate that love with marriage.
From the county numbers we knew that many Romney voters in Maryland must have crossed over to support same-sex marriage; now it turns out that Question 6 actually carried many of the state's best-known GOP strongholds. Republicans voted for Question 6 in serious numbers.
This year, marriage equality won four unprecedented victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. For years, organizations like the so-called National Organization for Marriage have bragged that equality always loses at the ballot box.
Even before I knew the results, I knew that we were winning over hearts and minds. How powerful is it that this one woman's son decided to come out of the closet and that that one act turned an ardent Republican into a marriage equality supporter?
Not once in 32 previous campaigns were the efforts of marriage equality advocates sufficient. It took presidential leadership -- bravery, guts and plain human decency -- to add the final soupçon of sufficiency to allow us to run the table in a tidal wave of liberation this week.
No longer will politicians -- or anyone -- be able to credibly claim to be supportive of gays, and to love and honor their supposed gay friends and family, while still being opposed to basic and fundamental rights like marriage.
The gains made for equality are fragile, and we've seen what can happen when we allow those who stand against us to frame the message. The stakes for those of you with marriage equality on the ballot are high, and the implications for the rest of the country are huge.
We've seen millions of dollars spent on sleazy, misleading ads by anti-equality groups looking to scare Marylanders about what marriage equality is and what Question 6 means. Don't believe them, because it's really as simple as equality, fairness and justice for all families.
Marriage inequality makes LGBT people and our families inferior. Regardless of whether they were appointed by Democrats or Republicans, our nation's judges, trusted with the interpretation of our laws, are increasingly recognizing this reality. Maryland voters need to do the same.
The fact is neither party truly cares about Christian morality, certainly not based on Old Testament scriptures. What seems instead to be driving both is power and control. Republicans care about power and control for the wealthy, while Democrats care about power and control for the not-so-wealthy.
Ultimately, to secure the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide, intervention by federal courts is necessary. But if our pleas are to be successfully heard by sympathetic judges, we must expand the patchwork of states recognizing same-sex marriage to the greatest degree possible.