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Posted at 6:10 AM ET, 03/ 2/2011

In statement, Alston says she is prepared to vote on same-sex marriage bill

By John Wagner

Alston mug.jpgDel. Tiffany T. Alston (D-Prince George's) issued a statement early Wednesday morning saying she is now prepared to vote on Maryland's same-sex marriage bill and will do so "based on what I believe to be right."

Alston is one of two co-sponsors of the bill who unexpectedly skipped a planned committee vote Tuesday morning, putting the fate of the high-profile legislation in peril.

In her statement, which The Post received by email at 1:50 a.m., Alston does not explicitly say how she will vote but seems to imply she will vote in favor of the legislation "if and when" the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee calls a vote.

"From the beginning of my campaign, I have told the people that elected me that I personally supported the same sex couple's right to marry," Alston says in the statement. "I believe all people should be treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation."

She also says she promised to listen to the views of her constituents and that she felt on Tuesday morning that she wanted "a little more time to weigh my final decision."

Alston says her duty as a lawmaker is "compounded when your personal religious beliefs are contrary to what you believe to be fundamentally right for society."

Alston's complete statement is below.

For Immediate Release
Delegate Tiffany T. Alston, Esq.
Annapolis, Maryland

The same sex marriage debate is a very contentious and controversial issue that cuts to the core of people's religious belief and people's fundamental right to the pursuit of happiness. From the beginning of my campaign I have told the people that elected me that I personally supported the same sex couple's right to marry. I believe all people should be treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation. I also told my constituents that I would listen to their concerns and take them into consideration. As such, I have been weighing the diverse and diametrically opposed feedback from my constituents and the citizens of the Great State of Maryland.

On Tuesday, March 1, 2011, as others members of the committee came forward to express their concerns and reservations, I too shared my interest in having a little more time to weigh my final decision. Marriage is not an institution that should not be entered into lightly nor is the decision to create a public policy shift surrounding marriage. There are several fundamental rights that shape this debate: a fundamental freedom to express yourself; a fundamental right to pursue happiness; and just as important if not more important a fundamental right to religious freedom. I believe that one person's fundamental right(s) end where another person's right(s) began. As a law maker it is my duty and privilege to serve the people and try to find balance and equity where inequity exists. This duty is compounded when your personal religious belief are contrary to what you believe to be fundamentally right for society.

Accordingly, I have resolved that if and when the chairman calls the vote I will be ready to vote based on what I believe to be right. In time the people of Maryland will also have the opportunity to vote on what they each believe is the correct direction for our State to take. In the interim I hope and pray that you will all respect my vote although you may not agree with it. Thank you all for the privilege to serve as your Delegate.

By John Wagner  | March 2, 2011; 6:10 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly, John Wagner, Same-Sex Marriage  
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Comments

sell out

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | March 2, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Just good old, power politica, you scratch my back I scratch yours. Just shows that no one in Annapolis has any honor or integrity or principles...everyone up there has a price.

Posted by: VikingRider | March 2, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

No guts.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 2, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I think she's had a sincere struggle of conscience, because the reactionary forces have recently been mobilized and I'm sure they were loud in her ear. I applaud her for hearing it all, taking a few extra hours to reconsider, and making her own decision in the quiet of midnight. I'm sure she will do the right thing.

Posted by: pundito | March 2, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Stupid little girl, this is real life, not "PLAYSKOOL"! What, you just didn't feel like voting, or were intimidated out of the "strength" of your convictions? Oh, gee... it's ONLY state politics; you don't HAVE to show up for work if you don't want to, right?

Oh, wait: YES, actually you DO; IT'S YOUR JOB!!!

Posted by: Orsalia | March 2, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Stupid little girl, this is real life, not "PLAYSKOOL"! What, you just didn't feel like voting, or were intimidated out of the "strength" of your convictions? Oh, gee... it's ONLY state politics; you don't HAVE to show up for work if you don't want to, right?

Oh, wait: YES, actually you DO; IT'S YOUR JOB!!!

Posted by: Orsalia | March 2, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

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