Md. senators told to expect long week of same-sex marriage debate
Maryland senators should expect a long week ahead of debate on same-sex marriage, the chamber's president said Thursday.
"You might want to keep your evenings open and clear your schedule next weekend," Senate President Thomas v. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) told his colleagues before adjourning for the day.
The Judicial Proceedings Committee is expected to give a favorable recommendation to the legislation Thursday afternoon. Seven of the panel's 11 members have said they support the bill, which would remove Maryland's requirement that marriage be between a man and a woman.
After some procedural motions on the Senate floor early next week, debate will probably begin in earnest Wednesday, Miller said, with a final vote possible over the weekend.
With opponents likely to attempt a filibuster, Miller said he plans to "let everyone have their say" before bringing a motion to the floor to cut off debate.
The final vote on the bill is expected to be very close. A Post tally published this week showed 24 senators having said they would support the bill -- the bare minimum needed for passage.
The tally includes Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore), who said in an interview last week that she would vote for the bill if she were the deciding vote. Conway has been more equivocal in interviews with other publications, saying she is "still praying" over what to do.
In a brief interview Thursday, Conway told The Post that she is "going to do the right thing" but would not elaborate on what that is.
Two other members who remain undeclared -- Sens. John C. Astle (D-Anne Arundel) and James C. Rosapepe (D-Prince George's) -- brushed off questions from reporters Thursday.
"You'll see it on the board," Astle said of his vote.
Rosapepe repeated his pledge to announce his intentions by the end of this week.
Miller, who opposes the legislation, said he is sticking with a prediction that it will pass on a vote of 24 to 23 or 25 to 22.
If the bill passes the Senate, it next moves to the House.
| February 17, 2011; 11:39 AM ET
Categories: General Assembly, John Wagner, Same-Sex Marriage
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