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Posted at 3:57 PM ET, 02/14/2011

Kasemeyer, Klausmeier declare support for same-sex marriage

By John Wagner

Updated, 4:35 p.m.: Sen. Katherine A. Klausmeier (D-Baltimore County) just said in an interview that she, too, plans to vote for the same-sex marriage bill. Her support would create the 24 votes needed for passage in the Senate.

"I think it's just the fair thing to do," Klausmeier said.

Kasemeyer.jpgOriginal post: A prominent Maryland state senator said Monday that he will support legalizing same-sex marriage, bringing the bill to within one vote of the number needed for passage in his chamber.

Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer (D-Baltimore County) said in an interview that he saw "no reason to deny the right" to gay couples to marry. Kasemeyer, chairman of the Budget and Taxation Committee, said his view was long held but that he had chosen to wait to share it publicly. His district also includes part of Howard County.

With Kasemeyer's support, 22 senators have now pledged to vote for the same-sex marriage bill, which needs 24 votes for passage. A 23rd senator, Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore), has said she will vote for the bill if she believes it will pass.

Four other senators have either said they are undecided or have not declared their position.

The momentum provided by Kasemeyer's support came on the same day that dozens of gay-rights supporters planned to convene in Annapolis for a rally and to deliver carnations to lawmakers on Valentine's Day.

Several leading lawmakers are scheduled to speak at the late afternoon rally Monday sponsored by Equality Maryland.

A list of senators who support the legislation and remain undeclared is below.

Bill 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 (6):
Sen. James Brochin (D-Baltimore County)
Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore)*
Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer (D-Baltimore County)
Sen. Allan H. Kittleman (R-Howard)
Sen. Katherine A. Klausmeier (D-Baltimore County)
Sen. James N. Robey (D-Howard)

Senators who said in interviews that they are undecided (3):
Sen. John C. Astle (D-Anne Arundel)
Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George's)
Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Prince George's)

* Conway says she will not vote for the bill if she believes it will fail.

(Photo credit: Maryland General Assembly)

By John Wagner  | February 14, 2011; 3:57 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly, John Wagner, Same-Sex Marriage  
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Censorship of my public comments by Liberal Socialists is proof Liberal Socialism takes away our right to free speech.

I am amazed that my neighbor state is filled with Liberal Socialist Dems.
How can it be so deceived to compromise with an immoral view of life? Unless of course the Gays are doing special favors to win passage of legalizing their lifestyle.
I am Stan Soboleski and I approve of this message.

Posted by: ssoboleski585 | February 14, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

It's the right thing to do morally and economically.

Onward to full marriage equality rights now.

Joe Mustich, CT Justice of the Peace,
Red Studio Farm, Washington Green, CT

Posted by: cornetmustich | February 14, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

And lets retire the marriage police!

Posted by: cornetmustich | February 14, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

LOL, Stan."I am Stan Soboleski and I approve of this message." Too much information.

Posted by: FlexSF | February 14, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

These representatives need to face a few facts: First, in New Hampshire when their legislature decided to impose same-sex marriage on that state, the voters turned their entire legislature from Democrat to Republican, and they are working on repealing their gay marrige law as we speak.

Second, in Iowa, they refused to allow three of the judges who imposed gay marriage on that state to return to the bench and they are considering removing the others, and they are working through their process of repealing their gay marriage law.

Third, Maine repealed their impending gay marriage law with a people's veto.

Fourth, in every state where the voters have been allowed to vote on this issue, they have said NO to gay marriage.

Why put the voters of Maryland through the repeal process when this is clearly NOT what they want in the first place?

These legislators need to get a clue that they impose gay marriage on their state at the peril of their political careers, and that it WILL be reversed by the voters even if they think they can get away with imposing it on them.

Posted by: klgrube | February 14, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

klgrube, you make it sound as though Marylanders are opposed to marriage equality. The Baltimore Sun's latest poll finds that 51% of Marylanders support it.

Posted by: binaryboy | February 14, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

This is good news!

Do any of y'all at the post know the vote breakdown for the housing and employment protections for transgender people?

Posted by: DCCharles | February 14, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

binaryboy: The only poll that matters is the one the voters take at the ballot box. Even in California, the Field poll showed same-sex marriage winning by a small margin in the Prop 8 vote in November, 2008. They were wrong. Depending on how the poll questions were skewed, the polls are clearly often incorrect. And people often change their minds at the ballot box.

The point is that it is the voters who will ultimately decide this issue anyway. If the legislature is so sure this is what Marylanders REALLY want, then let THEM decide. Don't impose it on them.

Posted by: klgrube | February 14, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

klgbrube, no, voters should not decide this issue. This is a matter of civil rights and civil rights should never be put to a popular vote. I was just pointing out that you are making it seem as though a majority of Marylanders are opposed to this when all evidence proves otherwise.

Posted by: binaryboy | February 14, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

They are doing this because it is the right thing to do. Also, had this gone through the courts, then bigots would be screaming about activist judges. Bigots want their cake and eat it too. Now, if the law passes and the bigots put it to a referendum, then the bigots will have to come out and show their true colors. SCOTUS will eventually end the debate as they did with segregation. Even Scalia has stated that the door for marriage equality has been opened.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | February 14, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Nah, they don't care whether or not they're doing the right thing. The right thing would be, if they really think Maryland wants gay marriage, is to let the voters make that decision. This is absolutely going to come back on them if they do this, just like it did the legislators in New Hampshire who used the same excuse to impose gay marriage there. The good news is that the voters now know just how little their so-called representatives think of them.

Posted by: klgrube | February 15, 2011 2:43 AM | Report abuse

klgrube - If all civil rights issues have to come before a public vote we wouldn't have interracial marriage, desegregation, or womens rights. You argument is dumb. I don't know why I just wasted my time arguing with a troll.

Posted by: dkinmd | February 15, 2011 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised Rosapepe is undecided - he is so useless. The man stands for nothing! I voted for him to get rid of Giannetti- I regret it.

Posted by: agwilson1399 | February 15, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

dkinmd - That argument is substantially flawed, and I'm sick and tired of hearing it parroted. Of course interracial marriage, and desegregation would have passed, IF BLACKS, HISPANICS, ASIANS, and ALL NON-RACISTS WERE ALLOWED TO VOTE ON IT! A gay marriage vote IS NOT comparable because gays WILL BE ALLOWED to vote along with the rest of the population, unlike in the pre-civil rights days. And women's rights?! Are you serious? There are two women for every man on the planet! Do you seriously think they would lose in a popular vote that they are actually allowed to vote in?

Posted by: WallyWutMD | February 15, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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