Let's do a little compare-and-contrast between New Jersey, whose loudmouthed "straight shooting" governor just wasn't man enough to sign a straightforward same-sex marriage bill, and Maryland, where Gov. Martin O'Malley (a politician no one has ever accused of lacking ambition) has not only said he will sign the bill, he called in favors and campaigned hard to get it passed.
In other words, he actually expended political capital to accomplish something he thought was right - as opposed to Mr. Chris "Let The Majority Decide The Rights of The Minority" Christie, who only had to sign a bill both houses passed. Remember that.
At some point, Martin O'Malley will either be on a presidential ticket, or run for the top office himself. But no matter what pounds of flesh he has to sell to get there, no matter what compromises he may make along the way, I will always remember that here's a guy who simply did this one right thing for the right reasons. That has a certain appeal, doesn't it? I'd like to see more Democrats like him.
A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland was approved by the state Senate, which advanced a measure that narrowly cleared the House of Delegates last week.
The final vote by the state Senate ended a yearlong drama in Annapolis over the legislation, and marked the first time an East Coast state south of the Mason-Dixon line has supported gay nuptials.
With the vote, the measure moves to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who has said he will sign it.
[...] Despite one of the largest Democratic majorities in any state legislature, backers of gay marriage in Maryland had to overcome fierce opposition from blocks of African American lawmakers and those with strong Catholic and evangelical views to cobble together coalitions big enough to pass both chambers.
As the Atlantic points out, in some ways, the Maryland compromise wasn't any prettier than Christie's political abdication. As part of the deal to get the bill through the House, opponents get the opportunity to put the issue on the ballot this November, which also makes it possible that the same-sex marriage issue Obama's been trying to sidestep will dog him there.
And as a final hurdle, the law doesn't go into effect until all legal challenges have been exhausted. That will take a long time.
But O'Malley did get out and fight for it. That's what leadership looks like.