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Same-Sex Marriage Ban Defeated Again

A Republican effort to revive a measure banning same-sex marriage went down to defeat on the floor of the House of Delegates Friday afternoon, a day after a House committee killed the proposed constitutional amendment.

The House debated whether to revive the measure for about an hour, allowing some conservative and moderate Democrats to voice their support for the GOP-backed bill. Republicans could still try to bring up the amendment in the Senate, but acknowledged their chances for passage are slim.

All week, the same-sex marriage debate in Annapolis has played out like a parliamentary chess game.

On Thursday morning, House Republicans arrived on the floor with a petition that they said had the 47 signatures needed to circumvent the committee vote and force delegates to take a stand on the controversial measure.

House Speaker Mike Busch (D-Anne Arundel), alerted to the petition, allowed the morning prayer and pledge of allegiance. Then Majority Leader Kumar Barve (D-Montgomery) moved to recess the session, the speaker banged his gavel, and the moment had passed.

"They stuffed us!" Republican Whip Tony O'Donnell (Calvert) gasped as the speaker walked off the floor.

Hours later, the House Judiciary Committee convened to consider the bill. By a vote of a 11-10, the panel added a clause permitting civil unions to the same-sex marriage ban. Then the whole committee voted against the amended measure. Republicans needed 71 votes to revive the matter on the floor, but got only 61 in yesterday's debate.

Matt Mosk

In case you didn't see them, here are two chats--one from a supporter of a ban, one from an openly gay lawmaker--that ran yesterday.

How the House Judiciary Committee voted on the amendment to allow civil unions:

Yes: Curtis S. (Curt) Anderson (D-Baltimore), Anthony G. Brown (D-Prince George's), Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore), Kathleen M. Dumais (D-Montgomery), Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery), Susan C. Lee (D-Montgomery), Pauline H. Menes (D-Prince George's), Carol S. Petzold (D-Montgomery), Neil F. Quinter (D-Howard) Luiz R. S. Simmons (D-Montgomery), Robert A. Zirkin (D-Baltimore County)

No: Don Dwyer, Jr. (R-Anne Arundel), Darryl A. Kelley (D-Prince George's), Kevin Kelly (D-Alleghany), W. Daniel Mayer (R-Charles), Susan K. McComas (R-Harford), Herbert H. McMillan (R-Anne Arundel), Christopher B. Shank (R-Washington), Tanya Thornton Shewell (R-Carroll), Michael D. Smigiel Sr. (R-Cecil), Theodore J. Sophocleus (D-Anne Arundel).

Absent: Samuel I. Rosenberg (D-Baltimore)

Not voting: Chairman Joseph F. Vallario Jr. (D-Prince George's)

By Phyllis Jordan  |  February 3, 2006; 5:25 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , Same-Sex Marriage  
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