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Posted at 2:56 PM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Kittleman breaks with Senate GOP caucus on Maryland same-sex marriage bill

By John Wagner

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Kittleman.jpgSen. Allan H. Kittleman (R-Howard) parted ways with fellow Senate Republicans on Tuesday as they voted as a caucus to oppose a same-sex marriage bill pending in the Maryland General Assembly this year.

In an interview, Kittleman said he thought the caucus position was wrong and would announce his intentions in coming days. He has previously announced that he would sponsor a bill allowing civil unions between both same-sex and heterosexual couples. Kittleman stepped down as minority leader shortly after making that announcement.

Kittleman's willingness to support a marriage bill would provide a significant boost to advocates of the legislation, who expect a close vote on the Senate floor in coming weeks. Advocates of the bill had not been counting on any Republican support in the chamber.

The Senate caucus position is not binding on any of its members, nor are senators required to disclose how they voted. In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Nancy C. Jacobs (R-Harford) said at least eight of the 12 GOP senators had voted to oppose the same-sex marriage bill -- a sufficient number to establish a caucus position.

"We met that threshold," Jacobs said following the closed-door vote. "The caucus expects extensive debate on this bill and we look forward to discussions of why so many Marylanders are passionate about this issue."

In a statement, Senate Minority Whip E.J. Pipkin (R-Queen Anne's) said: "A majority of the Senate Republican members felt this position best represented the views of their constituents."

A hearing on the bill is scheduled next week in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, where a majority of members have already announced support of the bill.


By John Wagner  | February 1, 2011; 2:56 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly, John Wagner, Same-Sex Marriage  
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Comments

Thank you, Sen. Kittleman!

Posted by: spiritsboydc | February 1, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

He's disloyal

Posted by: cheverly1 | February 2, 2011 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Good for you, Sen. Kittleman!

As for your colleagues -- and nearly all Republican legislators nationwide -- I have a question: If you ever give up on attacking gay Americans as a get-out-the-vote tool, who will you then start attacking?

Posted by: S1VA | February 2, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Sen Kittleman for being an ethical leader. I hope other members of the Republican Party will now stand up and do the right thing for all of their constituents!

Posted by: 10bestfan | February 2, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Kittleman may of lost the "cranky old man" demographic come next election cycle, but he should make that up with the "fair, sensible, moderate" crowd.
Too bad the rest of the GOP is still so old fashion and bigoted.

Posted by: MarilynManson | February 2, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing ethical about same-sex marriage. It is an abomination and a complete distortion of marriage. Jesus described marriage as a relationship between a male and a female. See Matthew 19:3-6. Democrats and other leftists have been trying to tear our country away from its Judeo-Christian foundation, almost since the beginning of the Republic. I've met Senator Kittleman on a couple of occasions, and he seems to be a very nice man--but this is not about "niceness"--this is about right and wrong. I know many homosexual men and women, and I like them and wish them well, except when it comes to them distorting our society in order for them to advance a sinful agenda.

Posted by: lawyerhale | February 2, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@lawyerhale, I don't think there is anything ethical about discriminating against people of whom you disapprove.

Our laws are secular, not theocratic, so it really doesn't matter what any holy book has to say.

I don't see why you think you have any interest in this issue at all. Same-sex marriage will not affect you in any way whatsoever. It will not affect so-called traditional marriage in any way whatsoever.

I doubt that Jesus would look kindly on His followers when they use scripture to justify discrimination and oppression.

I think the "sinful agenda" is the one that seeks to abridge the human and civil rights of people who have done no harm.

Posted by: kpharmer | February 2, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

: lawyerhale

Adultery is wrong, fornication outside of marriage is wrong, stealing is wrong. Who are we to decide which is more wrong than the other? When you start quoting the bible you have to be consistent. If you think one thing is wrong you cant ignore the other wrongs. Abomination is abomination. You dont get to deselect the ones you decide to participate in.

Posted by: ged0386 | February 2, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

lawyerhale

Isnt the constitution great!!! It keeps people like you in your place.

Posted by: ged0386 | February 2, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Senator Kittleman for taking a stand for equality and fairness. Surely not an easy decision for him, but the right one. The Party of Lincoln still has at least one adherent in Maryland. Bravo!

Posted by: jsmdlawyer | February 2, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

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