On January 20, 1955 students from Morgan State College engaged in the American Civil Rights Movement’s first lunch counter sit-in. Nearly six decades later, activists return to the now abandoned Reads Drugstore site to protest its demolition by neglect. Their goal is a preserved building and a civil rights museum at the downtown drugstore.
Activists converged on the site of the former Reads Drug Store to protest against Baltimore City’s slow movement on securing the building from further damage and neglect. They cite perpetually open windows exposing structural systems to the elements as an example of the city’s ambivalent attitude toward the site.
Open window at Reads building (source: Greg Cundiff)
On Friday, February 17, 2012 the Maryland House of Delegates passed HB 438, the Civil Marriage Protection Act. The act, which is similar to one passed in the Maryland Senate but failed to reach the House during the 2011 General Assembly session will allow individuals of the same sex to enter into civil marriages.
Governor Martin O’Malley introduced the bill as part of his 2012 Legislative Agenda. O’Malley, a Roman Catholic, said in a release concerning passage of the bill that, “Clergy and faith-based leaders, community leaders, civic organizations, civil rights groups, and citizens from across our State have reached the same conclusion that Americans in seven other states have reached – it is possible to protect individual civil marriage rights and religious freedom equally.”
Equality Maryland praised the vote saying, “Today’s vote is a huge step forward for all of us working to make marriage equality a reality in Maryland”
Most recently state legislatures in Washington and New Jersey passed legislation that allows for same sex marriage. Washington Governor, Chris Gregoire signed the bill into law while New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie vetoed that state’s bill.
(Data Source: HRC)