Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 2:05 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Updated: Missing delegates stall Md. same-sex marriage bill

By John Wagner

One of two legislators who went missing Tuesday morning for a committee vote on Maryland's same-sex marriage legislation said they are withholding their votes on the bill to gain "leverage" on unrelated issues they consider equally important.

Del. Jill Carter (D-Baltimore) told reporters Tuesday afternoon that she and Del. Tiffany T. Alston (D-Prince George's) are concerned about school funding for Baltimore and Prince George's County and some family law bills that have yet to move forward.

"This is still very early in the session, so I think there is time to get it all done," Carter said.

Colleagues had frantically tried to locate the two legislators for about half an hour Tuesday morning before calling off a scheduled vote in the House Judiciary Committee. Both Alston and Carter are co-sponsors of the House version of the same-sex marriage bill.

Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons (D-Montgomery), a bill supporter, suggested earlier in the day that the absence of his colleagues showed "dissatisfaction with the way this bill has been organized."

"It simply means the soup's not ready yet," said Don H. Dwyer Jr. (R-Anne Arundel), a staunch opponent of the bill, suggesting that supporters were short of votes.

The bill had been moving forward at a rapid clip since passing the Senate 25 to 21 on Thursday night. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill Friday and convened Tuesday morning after supporters thought they had secured the needed votes to send the bill to the floor later this week.

Del. Joseph F. Vallario Jr. (D-Prince George's), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said the panel would try to vote again later Tuesday.

In his budget for the coming fiscal year, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) proposed freezing overall school funding at its current level. Baltimore and Prince George's leaders have said they are particularly hard hit by the plan because of the funding formula on which it is based.

Alston was said to be in a meeting when a reporter stopped by her office Tuesday afternoon.

House Majority Leader Kumar P. Barve (D-Montgomery), the lead sponsor of the same-sex marriage bill, said he and other legislative leaders have been working on ways to increase school funding for Baltimore and Prince George's.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By John Wagner  | March 1, 2011; 2:05 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly, John Wagner, Same-Sex Marriage  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Catholic leaders urge continued fight against same-sex marriage in Md.
Next: Bill for 10-cent Md. gas tax hike gains support

Comments

Quit the games and join the 21st century.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 1, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Interesting to read that they are both Democrats. Running away from responsibilities must be deeply ingrained in their mindsets.

Posted by: CubsFan | March 1, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Shocking: Instead of carrying out on the support they promised, weak Democrats duck out of the situation.

Posted by: ABurstofLogic | March 1, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

As a gay resident of Del. Carter's district, I certainly hope she and her colleague show up soon. With hope, prayer, and trust, thiss bill will pass and be signed very soon. Then ALL of maryland's families will be equally valued under the law.

Posted by: Chuck_in_B-More | March 1, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see Maryland has its priorities straight. Allowing gays to marry could cause the whole state to collapse!!! Run for the hills, children of God!!!

Posted by: TaxiDriver | March 1, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Comments on this article might lead one to believe that Maryland is filled with a bunch of homophobic phuquetards.

Posted by: TomCadorette | March 1, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

What's there to iron out? You either vote to give Gays full marital rights, or you vote not to!

Posted by: localgoober | March 1, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

One has to wonder if Tiffany Alston and Jill Carter would have done this had it been women's rights or other civil rights that were on the line.

It is outrageous that they would hold up a civil rights bill to negotiate funding some other issue. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

Posted by: peterdc | March 1, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Chuck_in_B-More

Not all Md families because polygamy is still not legal....denying polygamous families full marital rights.

Posted by: miacane | March 1, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Chuck_in_B-More

Not all Md families because polygamy is still not legal....denying polygamous families full marital rights.
______________________
Chuck_in_B-More: do incestuous relationships deserve special/equal rights, too?


Posted by: rpcv84 | March 1, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Great so a civil rights bill is being held up over money. Big Surprise. Do any legislators anywhere in the country actually want to do the job we elect and pay them to do?

Posted by: hart2014 | March 1, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Stop playing games. I am a straight married Catholic and I support civil marriage for same sex couples. It's a civil rights issue, not a negotiating chip.

Posted by: pundito | March 1, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

hey, if gay marriages are legalized, just think about how many 'friends' of the same sex will be able to FAKE marriages in order to gain health insurance and other benefits in order to not have to hand over financial stuff to ex-husbands, children, brothers, sisters, and estate taxes, etc.. a great way to LEGALLY "cop out" if your real intention is to remain single, and your health is failing, or age is creeping up on you..hmmm..

Posted by: CountytaxpayingCHNII | March 1, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@CountytaxpayingCHNII, marriage fraud by gay couples would be no more prevalent than marriage fraud by straight couples, i.e., negligible.

Posted by: pundito | March 1, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

CountytaxpayingCHNII,

That is probably the most ridiculous argument made against gay marriage I have ever heard in my entire life.

"Friends" of opposite sex can do that now. Fake marriages for immigration, health insurance, and even by gay members of the military to avoid witch hunts are taking place now.

Posted by: CAC2 | March 1, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

peterdc, if I read the article correctly, the two delegates are trying to increase school funding (particularly in Prince Georges County and Baltimore County). While I totally support your civil rights bill, I also know what the proposed funding cuts will do to the children in Prince Georges County. So I guess all I can do is wish us both good luck and hope that our delegates do the right thing.

Posted by: mbrumble | March 1, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey CubsFan - you have it a little backward - running away from screwing up our economy and from 2 ridiculous wars that they started to make their wealthy buds even more wealthy is the Republican's reason for being! Democrats are responsible for every single law that has benefited U.S. citizens in the last 100 years!

Posted by: midas55 | March 1, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

When the political history of this period is written it will be said of Democrat legislators: "When the going got tough and they couldn't stomp their feet and hold their breath until they turned blue to get their way, they just ran away to another state." I always knew that liberals and Democrats were losers, but now I have proof. Very satisfying, for sure.

Posted by: dcmowbray1 | March 1, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

peterdc, if I read the article correctly, the two delegates are trying to increase school funding (particularly in Prince Georges County and Baltimore County). While I totally support your civil rights bill, I also know what the proposed funding cuts will do to the children in Prince Georges County. So I guess all I can do is wish us both good luck and hope that our delegates do the right thing.

Posted by: mbrumble | March 1, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@TaxiDriver:
I'm not sure how allowing same-sex marriage in Maryland would cause the "whole state to collapse," but I'd be fascinated to hear your reasoning. Care to share? Suffice it to say that the five states and one district that have already allowed same-sex marriage have not "collapsed." And GLBT folks are surely children of God, so running for the hills isn't really going to do much, especially since we're in the hills, too.

You said:
Nice to see Maryland has its priorities straight. Allowing gays to marry could cause the whole state to collapse!!! Run for the hills, children of God!!!

Posted by: danfromnva1 | March 1, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Please don't let them screw this up.

Posted by: ksu499 | March 1, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Do the Democrats always run away when they can't get what they want?

Posted by: Alwaysgot2know | March 1, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Funny how what is cheered in Wisconsin is deplored in Maryland.

I agree that the delegates should come to the table and vote. Vote yes or no, but be part of the process that you were elected to take part in.

But you have to also agree that this is no worse than guys in Indiana and Wisconsin running away to avoid the vote.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | March 1, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Okay,let's see..the worst performing systems AND the highest two budgets/cost per pupil in MD...Ever heard of perform first--fund second?? These two idiots would hold their own families hostage for a freakin' constituent vote. Grow up...get the vote done--let's DO move into the 21st century and give these folks the rights they deserve. Such petty childishness...and to think we elect these hypocrites.

Posted by: demetz5050 | March 1, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

This is why nothing gets done in state or federal legislatures. These people who supposedly represent us need hip boots to wade around in all the crap they are spewing.

Posted by: mortified469 | March 1, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

.

Hey Democrats,

More Democrats on the lam. Check Chicago !!

.

Posted by: kstobbe1 | March 1, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

What a shock: African-American church-goers appear to be trying to undermine gay rights in Maryland. Who would have expected such a thing?!

That a co-sponsor would do this, and suggest they were only trying to get leverage "for the schools" is beyond cynical, beyond disingenuous...and beyond absurd----as if *anyone* would believe the claim that a (sincerely supportive) co-sponsor of a bill would carry out a threat to prevent its emergence from committee!

If the civil marriage bill fails in the Maryland House of Delegates, we'll know *exactly* whom to blame.... And it won't be Delegate Dwyer.

Posted by: IncredulousAsEver | March 1, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Finally a delegate who listens to her constituency…this issue should not be considered by a small group of electorates…something this important needs to be left to the people. Why are our representatives so afraid of letting the people have their voices heard? Odd that it’s ok to go AWOL in Wisconsin but not in Maryland!!!

Posted by: OhDarn | March 1, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

One has to wonder if Tiffany Alston and Jill Carter would have done this had it been women's rights or other civil rights that were on the line.

It is outrageous that they would hold up a civil rights bill to negotiate funding some other issue. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

Posted by: peterdc | March 1, 2011 2:17 PM
______________________________________

Agree. Looks like they want the school funding issue to give them political cover on gay marriage ("hey, I had to support to get the school funding...").

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 1, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Finally a delegate who listens to her constituency…this issue should not be considered by a small group of electorates…something this important needs to be left to the people. Why are our representatives so afraid of letting the people have their voices heard? Odd that it’s ok to go AWOL in Wisconsin but not in Maryland!!!

Posted by: OhDarn | March 1, 2011 7:09 PM


Hey OhDarn,
This is a civil rights issue. Civil rights issues should NEVER be decided at the ballot box by the electorate. If miscegenation were put on the ballot in Maryland in the 1950's, would it have passed? Probably not. That's why the electorate should NEVER be allowed to hold a plebescite on civil rights issues.

Posted by: snoisgud | March 1, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey Snoisgud...we are governed under the premise of "We the People," not we the few. Let me see if I've got this right. Using your logic that a ballot proposition or measure might not pass, which according to you is a given, therefore it should not be put on the ballot? Is that the best you’ve got; weak, very weak! Marylanders are entitled too and should demand the right to put this on the ballot, end of argument, enough said!

Posted by: OhDarn | March 1, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Snoisgud...we are governed under the premise of "We the People," not we the few. Let me see if I've got this right. Using your logic that a ballot proposition or measure might not pass, which according to you is a given, therefore it should not be put on the ballot? Is that the best you’ve got; weak, very weak! Marylanders are entitled too and should demand the right to put this on the ballot, end of argument, enough said!
___________________________________________
Wow OhDarn, I gave you too much credit in my original post. Not only did you totally misunderstand my comment, you obviously have no idea what miscegenation is. The point I'm making is that civil rights issues should never be made into a plebescite. It creates tyranny of the majority.

OhDarn, you need to take a civics class. We live in a federal republic where we elect representatives who do just that, represent their constituents.

Constituents include ALL citizens, not just those with the majority view. It is the job of our elected representatives to ensure that everyone's civil rights are maintained (or in this case established) no matter what the majority feels. In the 1960's, or elected representatives finally had the cajones to do what was right by enacting multiple civil rights legislation. That's exactly what the MD General Assembly is in the process of doing today.

So OhDarn, learn some civics so you too can become an enlightened and active citizen!

Posted by: snoisgud | March 1, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Although I understand the motivation driving these two delegates who want desperately to bring critical education funding to their schools, I am so dismayed that they have chosen to hold the same sex marriage bill hostage to accomplish their mission.

Posted by: c121cgal | March 1, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

OhDarn apparently adheres to the idea that the majority may deny anyone of any minority rights.

Posted by: friarjohn00 | March 3, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company