GOP Maryland Delegate Wade Kach (R) delivered an emotional address explaining his evolution towards supporting marriage equality, just moments before the state House passed legislation extending marriage rights to gays and lesbians. Kach had voted down the bill as recently as Monday night, in a committee vote, and had co-sponsored a measure to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
But tonight, Kach attributed his change of heart to his “pro-life” roots, explaining that he changed his mind after hearing testimony from gay and lesbian families, and realizing that their children deserved the same legal protections as the kids of opposite-sex parents:
KACH: I’m a pro-life legislator and as a pro-life legislator, I believe that it is my responsibility to make certain that children are taken care of. This child — if this couple were to be able to have a civil marriage would be taken care of. This child would have the rights that a child of a traditional married couple would have. So, I left that hearing a changed person….I thought to myself I’m sent here to represent my constituents. I’m sent here because my constituents have faith in my judgment. However, my constituents did not send me here to judge people. So I am casting a green vote for this bill and I’m hoping all of you that especially care about children will think of them and hopefully we are going to as a state all of our children are going to have the same rights so that they can prosper in this state.
The Baltimore Sun reported last night that former Vice President Dick Cheney — a long-time supporter of marriage equality — personally lobbied Kach on the issue.