Happy Mother’s Day: Six Amazing Political Moms Standing Up For Marriage Equality

The LGBT movement has picked up some very fierce female allies in the fight for marriage equality. Washington governor Christine Gregoire (at right) sheltered the issue’s fair-weather passage in her rainy state, while Maryland’s First Lady Katie O’Malley went so far as to call anti-gay lawmakers “cowards” in the heat of the moment.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we thought we’d we sing the praises of these fine women (mothers all), who have helped champion the cause. There are of course many more hot mamas on the local, state and federal level. Nominate your favorite in the comments!

Click through to see the six fiercest political moms standing up for equality.


Maryland First Lady Katie O’Malley

Maryland gov. Martin O’Malley, is a rock star who has showcased some heavy artillery on both the gay-marriage and bicep front. While no state has passed gay marriage without a fight, the battle in Maryland was particularly fierce. At O’Malley’s side—and in some instances taking the lead—was his jurist wife, Katie: At the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s 24th annual Conference on LGBT Equality in Baltimore, Judge O’Malley lashed out at anti-gay lawmakers, calling them “cowards.”  She later apologized for her choice of words, but not for standing up for gay Marylanders.


Governor Christine Gregoire (D-WA)

As the governor of the Evergreen State, Gregoire first signed anti-discrimination legislation protecting LGBT people in 2006. She announced her support for marriage equality earlier this year at a big ol’ press conference (see video above). In her speech, Gregoire delivered a series of no-nonsense arguments comparing gay-marriage bans of the present to anti-misegnation laws of the past.

Speaking candidly, Gregoire says she was on her own journey toward equality: “It has been a battle for me, with my religion. And I have always been uncomfortable with the position that I took publicly. The religions can decide what they want to accept, but the state cannot discriminate… And let me just tell you, I feel so much better today than I have for the last seven years.” Beautiful.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA)

Nancy Pelosi is the OG of ally politicians: The San Francisco lawmaker has been championing the cause of LGBT equality for  twenty years, long before it was cool.

In 1996, Pelosi voted against the Defense of Marriage Act. In 2004 and 2006, she voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment. And, of course, she vociferously opposed Prop 8. Most recently, the former Speaker of the House was the first member of Congress to say outright that she wants marriage-equality language included in the 2012 Democratic National Party platform.


Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen was the first Senator to sign on to the inclusion of marriage-equality language in the 2012 Democratic platform. Eighteen other Senators followed her lead, and we’re hoping more will sign on in the lead-up to the Democratic National Convention.

Shaheen also was a prominent force in the repeal of DADT: After it ended, she lobbied Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to end a discriminatory policy that bans the same-sex spouses of returning National Guard Members from participating in official National Guard family events. “We made the decision as a nation that it was time to allow gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly in our military,” Shaheen said. “It makes no sense to ask them for the same sacrifice we ask of straight soldiers while denying them the same benefits. We are better than this.”


Houston Mayor Annise Parker

As an out lesbian, it wasn’t been easy for Annise Parker to get elected mayor of Houston, the largest city in sometimes-intolerant Texas. But fighting tough is what Parker does best. She told the Huffington Post: “While it’s been a tough time to be an incumbent at any level of government, there’s definitely a hard-core group here that is just mortally offended that there is a lesbian mayor, and one of my opponents ran specifically because of that issue and raised it at every opportunity.” It must really goad her detractors that Parker and her partner of 22 years, Kathy Hubbard, are raising two daughters and a foster son.

Parker took the Commander in Chief to task when he was still dragging his feet on marriage equality, saying Obama “needs to evolve a little bit faster. He’s not clearly where I think he ought to be.”  Maybe he came out in support because he didn’t want to tick her off?

Photo: Ed Schipul

Sen. Kay Hagan (D- NC)

Back in 2010, she voted in favor of the  repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell  and more recently Hagen—mom to Jeanette, Tilden and Carrie—made a practical argument against the measure, saying companies would be less inclined to do business in a state that didn’t embrace equality: “We have seen and heard from business leaders from across North Carolina who are worried about our ability to compete with states that are not passing such divisive amendments… In this competitive environment we simply cannot …to give businesses a reason to grow and locate elsewhere.” Hey, if you can’t tug at their heartstrings, hit ’em in the pocketbook.

Photo: Kay Hagen