Although many Democrats, including Simmons, said they support the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, they also said they recognize that the ruling could hurt the party during key elections this year -- the governor's office and a U.S. Senate seat are at stake.
They said the ruling could galvanize Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s conservative base, increasing Election Day turnout for him and for Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele (R), who is running for U.S. Senate.
"I don't want to see the gubernatorial election, or any other election, tangled up in this issue," said Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery).
So the Democrats, in trying to straddle the fence, are risking upsetting both sides of the political spectrum. On the one hand, those who support the true definition of marriage will be bothered by the Democrats' support of same-sex marriage. Those who support redefining it will be upset by the refusal to act now.
If the Democrats are really about anything more than gaining and holding power, they should stand on this issue before this election. Otherwise, they show they're araid to let their true values be exposed to the voters.