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Posted at 6:12 PM ET, 03/ 3/2011

Md. House panel again delays vote on same-sex marriage bill

By John Wagner

A Maryland House of Delegates committee again delayed voting on a bill allowing same-sex marriage Thursday, hours after Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) publicly encouraged lawmakers to pass the legislation.

The legislation was thrown off track Tuesday when two delegates who had pledged support for the bill skipped a planned vote by the House Judiciary Committee.

Del. Jill Carter (D-Baltimore) has since said she is prepared to vote for the bill, but aides said she was out sick Thursday.

Del. Tiffany T. Alston (D-Prince George's) told reporters she is considering an amendment that would offer civil unions as an alternative.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, O'Malley said he is hopeful that the House would send him the same bill that passed the Senate last week on a 25 to 21 vote.

The Judiciary Committee could try again Friday to round up the 12 votes needed to advance the legislation.

By John Wagner  | March 3, 2011; 6:12 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly, John Wagner, Same-Sex Marriage  
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Next: Arora pledges support for Maryland same-sex marriage bill

Comments

This is so frustrating! Year after year, this bill has been bottled up in committee, with no one wanting it to go to the floor until there are enough votes to pass it. This year, enough people indicated support that the Senate actually passes it. And now one of its alleged supporters wants not only to refuse to vote for it on the House floor but to withhold her vote at the committee level so that the full House doesn't even get a chance to vote for it?

Maryland already has married same-sex couples (including us), because the Attorney General opined last year that Maryland recognizes same-sex marriages from elsewhere. So the issue is only whether same-sex couples can celebrate their marriages with their local friends and family, or have to go somewhere else to get married. Why is this such a hard decision?

Posted by: 2dBride | March 3, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Don't follow Slavemaster O'Malley off the cliff. You are a representative of the people. What do your people want?

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | March 3, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

@wewintheylose1 - What do the people want? They want same sex marriage:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/annapolis/2011/01/omalley_numbers_up_in_new_poll.html

Posted by: CourthouseGuy1 | March 3, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Tiffany? You're going to keep gays and lesbians in second class status? Separate but equal, right? Come on, you know better.

Posted by: pundito | March 3, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

This is great....Tiffany Alston is the C. Anthony Muse of the House Committee.....I say remove her from the Judiciary Committee and assign someone that will pass this damn thing.

At least, this year, C. Anthony Muse removed himself from the Committee for "personal reasons". I say he did it so that the bill could pass, in which I thank him for that.

Posted by: 4LaneOxonHillRoad | March 4, 2011 5:45 AM | Report abuse

Maryland is a huge plantation for enslaved blacks. Slavemaster O'Malley leads them around by the nose voting against their self interests. Amazing..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | March 4, 2011 7:08 AM | Report abuse

This is disgusting political games. You two need to grow up, join the 21st century. Separate but equal, I guess. Yeah, that worked well for schools, didn't it. Another group of second-class citizens.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 4, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I guess god talked to Alston.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 4, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

This has to be the most ridiculous circus of events I've ever seen politically. And, yes, that includes the nonsense that occurs at the Capitol.

Marriage equality does not take anything away from heterosexual couples, churches, or anyone else who opposes such legislation. Those who don't "agree" with it simply need not participate. This is about making available the same rights, benefits, and security that marriage affords loving couples. These scare tactics are the same ones that were used to discriminate against other minority/disenfranchised groups in the past. Thankfully, legislators during the civil rights era had the guts not to listen to the pressures of groups wanting to protect the status quo and did what was right for those oppressed.

I wish there were more legislators that understood that doing what's right is more important than doing what's popular.

Posted by: jamccoy | March 4, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

This is disgusting political games. You two need to grow up, join the 21st century. Separate but equal, I guess. Yeah, that worked well for schools, didn't it. Another group of second-class citizens.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 4, 2011 8:28 AM
___________________________

Your analogy of separate but equal and second class citizenship based on heterosexual requirement for marriage is completely incorrect.

1. The Supreme Court US and most State Supreme Courts have not found sexual orientation to be a suspect class.

2. There is no relationship of skin color at all to what we consider US civil rights,
e.g. voting, access to education, ability to marry who you choose with the common, conventional, culturally accepted definition of marriage in the West.

3. Marriage has ALWAYs had a heterosexual component, and the benefits surrounding marriage most often relate to the procreative nature of marriage.

4. There is a distinct biological difference between a same sex and opposite sex couples that allows the legal system to have a rational basis for discriminating civil unions from marriages.

5. Several State Supreme Courts have found in favor of point number 4.

6. In the only SCOTUS decision relating to a constitutional right to same sex marriage (Baker decision) the SCOTUS essentially said the US Constitution does not guarantee a right to same sex marriage.

None of the above says that an individual state can not decide to change its definition of marriage if it chooses, e.g. IA, CN, MA, or perhaps MD....

Posted by: captn_ahab | March 4, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Heterosexual Marriage is a wide open road. Homosexuality is a dead end street. Anything given to them today will die with them tomorrow. Homosexuality is separate and NOT equal. Heterosexuality is far superior. Homosexuality contributes nothing to civilization. If being Gay is not a choice, then blame God or your parents, Not the Constitution. One does not choose to be Gay, But they do "choose" their partner. A Black Man does not choose to be Black, but he does "choose" a woman. He does not stick to his Blackness like a Gay sticking with another Gay. Therefore being Gay is like being Black, Brown, yellow, or blue eyed or blond. But ALL of these do NOT demand special rights as the Gays, why? They are no different than the others. Why? Are they claiming to be superior to the others that were also born that way? Actually they are in fact inferior because they contribute nothing to civilization while the others do. Why they are given special benefits are hard to understand. They should be penalized instead. Pity.

Posted by: daniwitz13 | March 5, 2011 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Heterosexual Marriage is a wide open road. Homosexuality is a dead end street. Anything given to them today will die with them tomorrow. Homosexuality is separate and NOT equal. Heterosexuality is far superior. Homosexuality contributes nothing to civilization. If being Gay is not a choice, then blame God or your parents, Not the Constitution. One does not choose to be Gay, But they do "choose" their partner. A Black Man does not choose to be Black, but he does "choose" a woman. He does not stick to his Blackness like a Gay sticking with another Gay. Therefore being Gay is like being Black, Brown, yellow, or blue eyed or blond. But ALL of these do NOT demand special rights as the Gays, why? They are no different than the others. Why? Are they claiming to be superior to the others that were also born that way? Actually they are in fact inferior because they contribute nothing to civilization while the others do. Why they are given special benefits are hard to understand. They should be penalized instead. Pity.

Posted by: daniwitz13 | March 5, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

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