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Posted at 11:09 AM ET, 02/10/2011

Brochin confirms plan to vote for Md. same-sex marriage bill

By John Wagner

Maryland Sen. James Brochin (D-Baltimore County) on Thursday confirmed his intention to vote for a same-sex marriage bill, putting supporters of the legislation within striking distance of Senate passage.

Brochin said at a news conference that while he has been willing to support civil unions between gay couples previously, the word "marriage" was a "stumbling block."

"It's my stumbling block, and it's my problem," said Brochin, who issued a press release Wednesday saying he was rethinking is position.

Brochin said his change in position was a result of Tuesday's bill hearing in front of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, on which he serves. The panel is expected to vote next week to send the bill to the floor.

Brochin called testimony from same-sex marriage opponents "appalling and disgusting. ... I just heard hate and venom coming out of that hearing."

With Brochin's support, there are now 21 senators who have said publicly they will vote for the same-sex marriage bill, which needs 24 votes for passage. Six other members have either said they are undecided or not announced their position.

An updated list of those planning to vote for the bill or considering it is below.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Maryland Senate.jpgBill sponsors and co-sponsors(18):
Sen. William C. Ferguson (D-Baltimore)
Sen. Jennie M. Forehand (D-Montgomery)
Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery)
Sen. Robert J. Garagiola (D-Mongtomery)
Sen. Lisa A. Gladden (D-Baltimore)
Sen. Verna L. Jones-Rodwell (D-Baltimore)
Sen. Dolores G. Kelley (D-Baltimore County)
Sen. Nancy J. King (D-Montgomery)
Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery)
Sen. Roger Manno (D-Montgomery)
Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden (D-Baltimore)
Sen. Karen S. Montgomery (D-Montgomery)
Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George's)
Sen. Catherine E. Pugh (D-Baltimore)
Sen. Victor R. Ramirez (D-Prince George's)
Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery)
Sen. Ronald N. Young (D-Frederick)
Sen. Robert A. Zirkin (D-Baltimore County)

Others who have publicly committed to vote for the bill (3):
Sen. James Brochin (D-Baltimore County)
Sen. Allan H. Kittleman (R-Howard)
Sen. James N. Robey (D-Howard)

Senators who said in interviews that they are undecided (6):
Sen. John C. Astle (D-Anne Arundel)
Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore)
Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George's)
Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer (D-Baltimore County)
Sen. Katherine A. Klausmeier (D-Baltimore County)
Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Prince George's)

By John Wagner  | February 10, 2011; 11:09 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner, Same-Sex Marriage  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Brochin reconsiders same-sex marriage opposition
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So wait a minute. It took a single hearing for Brochin to realize the hatred and venom out there in the real world against homosexuals? Wow.

Posted by: nsforster | February 10, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Jim Rosapepe, my state senator--what exactly is it that is holding you back?

Posted by: princgeorges | February 10, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse


Have you asked Rosapepe yourself?

Would you be interested in leading a protest of his office or organizing a bunch of people calling in?

Posted by: DCCharles | February 10, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

What a sickening display of the media taking an active role in lobbying for legislation

Posted by: cprferry | February 11, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The Senator is correct to have been hung-up on the word "marriage." While I am sorry the hearing took on an ugly tone, the fact is the traditions attendent to the word "marriage" pre-date the civil code of Maryland.

I respect that differences of the gay community and have never knowingly disparaged or discriminated against anyone for being gay. It is not my interest.

Having said that, I very much resent the gay communities try to access the word and traditions of marriage. Equality is fine, parallel legal status sure. Same status, no, married couples are (M/F).

By the way, I think the civil rights approach to accessing status under marriage is a slipery slope. Under this approach we grant both rights and protected status for minorities. With a fluid defination of marriage we now have to consider that polyagmists probably deserve protection as a minority.

If you want to be different fine; be different and have similar status. It is kind of thin to want to be different and then want all the benefits of being the same.

I guess at the end of the day the gay community may succeed within the legal system. The still will not get access to my church and my pastor or recognition therein.

Posted by: swan_502 | February 14, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

In response to Swan_502, I am not gay...but I would venture to say that most gay people seeking to get married probably do not expect any given religion to accept / recognize their legal / civil marriage, let alone be forced into performing marriage ceremonies. I would also venture that most of these people are getting married out of love and wanting to formally & legally establish their relationship in society and the side benefit being all of the legal rights, privileges and benefits that accompany it. Religious marriage and civil marriage are, obviously, two completely separate things. A religious ceremony, alone, a LEGAL marriage does not make...not one recognized by the law and civil institutions...thus the need for a marriage license and marriage certificate....civil/legal documents.

But I do not mean to speak to anyone as if they did not know or were not aware of these facts...and therein lies one of my major issues with the whole topic: ownership of the word, and institution of, 'marriage'. There's all this talk about fully supporting 'legal / civil unions' and gay couples having all the same 'legal rights'...but you just. can't. call. it. marriage. I truly do not understand why the religious side seems to think they 'own' the word and/or institution of 'marriage'.

(Please refer back to my views on the difference between the legally binding, CIVIL, non-religious contract of marriage, and the RELIGIOUS ceremony of marriage).

I have been previously married, then divorced. I did not enter into, and end, those legal contracts with any particular religion (or their views) in mind. I was baptized Catholic (although I do not consider myself to be of any organized religious belief), if I were to remarry, my 2nd marriage would not be recognized by the Catholic Church. Do I care if the Catholic Church does not recognize my 2nd marriage...does this affect my life? Do I feel that the Church should? The answer is all the same - no.

So, it's fine by me (and I would think, most gays) that a given religion chooses not to endorse or recognize a gay marriage. I don't think that is what they are seeking out of getting married.

To me, 'protected status' implies being the recipient of some sort of benefit DENIED to another (i.e. affirmative action). So I don't see how granting EQUAL rights/benefits/status to a given minority grants them 'protected status'. How does the non-denial of a right/benefit/status grant them some benefit over another? Using that argument, perhaps it could be said that by granting slaves their freedom and women the right to vote...granting them EQUALITY...somehow puts them in a 'protected status' and thereby the recipient of some unseen benefit denied to people who had been born into said right/benefits.

(Also, slavery and the inability of women to vote are also both 'traditions' that far pre-date Maryland code. Just because something is 'tradition' doesn't make it right.)

I now digress, as I notice I am rambling...

Posted by: FullTimeSingleDad | February 14, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Sen Rosapepe needs to be told by his constituents. I am one that has met him before. I made it a point to go to one of his sessions at the local grocery store about 3 weeks ago and I told him very firmly that my wife and I are VERY supportive of the gay marriage bill and that we wanted him to vote for the bill.

You can also go to his web-site and send him an e-mail. Or send to: or (not sure about the last one, but it's on his web-site). The gmail account is used to send notices out to us about activities that the team is doing in PG County. I've sent messages there and gotten responses.

Let him know that we want him to vote YES!

Posted by: DadWannaBe | February 14, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

And for swan_502, while I understand your concerns, unfortunately, they are not equal by any means. Currently in the state of Maryland, there are over 339 separate rights and privileges awarded to couples that are married and more are granted and adjusted continuously, especially as various other laws change. There is no way to award both currently equal status and future equal status to all of those rights and privileges without using the same legal definition. If there were a way to legally make a civil union equal to a marriage including future changes to laws, then it might be more acceptable, but you can't do that. And until there is something like that, gay couples need to have the right to "marriage" so that they are entitled to the same rights and privileges that other codependent and cohabitating couples have.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | February 14, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

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