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People often ask me why I take certain positions on divisive issues, and my answer is always the same: my beliefs are a direct result of how I was raised.  And in light of June being National LGBT Pride Month, now is another great time to talk about why.

When segregation was still the norm in Howard County, my father joined with others in fighting racial discrimination in the 1950s and 1960s. Watching him fight for civil rights instilled in me the belief that everyone, regardless of race, sex, national origin or sexual orientation, is entitled to equal rights.

As a result, it comes as no surprise that one of the defining moments in my legislative career has been my support for marriage equality. In supporting this issue, I faced opposition from many of my Republican colleagues. But I was not – and will never be – willing to abandon my goal of ensuring all Marylanders are treated equally for the sake of party politics.

Last month, blogger Steve Charing wrote in his OUTspoken column about my history of supporting same-sex marriage and dedication to equal rights.

As Steve noted in his column,

“Republican Senator Allan H. Kittleman has been regarded as a hero among LGBT folks throughout the state for bucking his party’s positions and standing up forcefully to advance the cause of same-sex marriage. He had also been recognized as a stalwart supporter of non-discrimination protections on the basis of gender identity.”

The column also quoted Carrie Evans, executive director for Equality Maryland. Carrie said:

“Senator Allan Kittleman’s support did not come without a cost; he lost his leadership position… But that didn’t deter him. He worked with the campaign to lend a Republican voice to the chorus of support for Question 6. His support allowed for more Republicans to come forward claiming marriage equality as a Republican value.”

As County Executive, I will continue to fight for fairness and will ensure that Howard County continues to be a leader in the effort to treat all individuals, all families and all marriages equally.

I am willing to work with leaders and legislators of both political parties, and guarantee that all members of the community will always have a seat at the table in my administration.

If you are interested in joining me, please consider becoming a member of Team Kittleman. Whether it’s putting up yard signs, volunteering your time or donating to the campaign, we always appreciate the help.

Click here to join Team Kittleman and help make Howard County a place where all residents can be proud to live.

Together, we can make sure the future Howard County is a better Howard County!