Md. senator 'still praying' on same-sex marriage
Underscoring the uncertainty of next week's expected Senate vote on same-sex marriage, a key Maryland lawmaker has been quoted saying somewhat different things about her position to two different newspapers.
Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore) is included in a tally published Tuesday morning by The Washington Post of 24 senators -- the bare majority needed for passage -- who have indicated they will vote for a bill allowing gay couples to marry.
In an interview last week, Conway told The Post that her Senate district is about evenly divided on the issue and that she would not vote for the bill if she believes it will fail because that would alienate half her constituents. But Conway said should would "pray real hard and vote green" if it became clear she was the deciding vote in favor of the bill.
What Conway told The Post in an interview on the Senate floor is consistent with what several advocates for the bill say she has told them privately: that she is not willing to be the 23rd vote for the high-profile legislation, but that she is committed to being the 24th.
Conway's most recent comments, however, published by The Baltimore Sun are more equivocal.
"Conway said she would not support the Senate bill if it appears to be failing," The Sun reported in a blog item Monday. "But if there are 23 'yes' votes on the board, she said she will 'pray really hard' and make her choice. Reached today by phone, Conway said she is 'still praying' and 'probably close' to making a decision."
In her interview with The Post, Conway said she would be more comfortable with the bill if it put the issue of same-sex marriage to a statewide vote. The bill has no such provision, but Maryland law allows citizens to petition recently passed laws to the ballot. Supporters and opponents alike have said they expect enough signatures would be collected to force a public vote on same-sex marriage in Maryland in November 2012.
Advocates of the bill are still targeting at least three other senators who have not publicly stated their positions.
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-Montgomery)
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)
Senators who have indicated they oppose the bill (20):
Sen. Joanne C. Benson (D-Prince George's)
Sen. David R. Brinkley (R-Frederick)
Sen. Richard E. Colburn (R-Dorchester)
Sen. James E. DeGrange Sr. (D-Anne Arundel)
Sen. Roy P. Dyson (St. Mary's)
Sen. George C. Edwards (R-Garrett)
Sen. Joseph M. Getty (R-Carroll)
Sen. Barry Glassman (R-Harford)
Sen. Nancy Jacobs (R-Harford)
Sen. J.B. Jennings (R-Baltimore County)
Sen. James N. Mathias Jr. (D-Worcester)
Sen. Thomas M. Middleton (D-Charles)
Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert)
Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George's)
Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Prince George's)
Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R-Queen Anne's)
Sen. Edward R. Reilly (R-Anne Arundel)
Sen. Christopher B. Shank (R-Washington)
Sen. Brian W. Simonaire (R-Anne Arundel)
Sen. Norman R. Stone Jr. (D-Baltimore County)
* Conway says she will not vote for the bill if she believes it will fail.
| February 15, 2011; 8:00 AM ET
Categories: General Assembly, John Wagner, Same-Sex Marriage
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