“Today, the House of Delegates voted for human dignity. Love is an unalienable right. At its heart, their votes were votes for Maryland’s children. Now, as the Senate prepares to vote, all of us are needed & we’re prepared to redouble our efforts.”—Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), following House passage of the state’s marriage equality bill
“Since Stonewall, we have been on a 40-year journey toward our freedom. Today, the legislature has brought us to the edge of the promised land. We know the Governor won’t let us enter, but we finally behold the view of our dreams and we will never turn back.”— Garden State Equality Chair Steven Goldstein, on the New Jersey legislature’s passage — and Gov. Chris Christie (R)’s expected veto — of a marriage equality bill
“I keep thinking that this is just the death rattle of this version of American racism. Not that we are on the precipice of a post-racial age, and any day now we’re going to sing ‘Kumbaya’ together in Benetton commercials. Not that. But that this particular version of assuming that a black body is inherently unequal and invaluable. It just seems so fringe to me as an idea right now. It seems to govern less and less of what human interactions are like.”— Melissa Harris-Perry, in Metro Weekly
"In a Feb. 2 hearing, [Sen. Chuck] Grassley [(R-Iowa)] said he backs [Violence Against Women Act] reauthorization, but he could not support the Leahy-Crapo version, in part because of the aforementioned provisions on LGBT individuals, immigration and tribal authority.
“‘The substitute creates so many new programs for underserved populations that it risks losing focus on helping victims, period,’ he said of the new LGBT protections, adding, ‘If every group is a priority, no group is a priority.’”