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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Same-sex marriage bill remains stalled in Md. House

By John Wagner and Sandhya Somashekhar

Updated, 3:45 p.m.:
The fate of Maryland's same-sex marriage bill remained unclear Wednesday, as House leaders indicated they would not try again to bring it to a committee vote until at least Thursday.

The bill was thrown off track Tuesday after two delegates who had previously pledged their support deliberately skipped a key voting session needed to move the legislation forward.

The continued delay in a vote by the House Judiciary Committee means there is little chance the legislation could come to the House floor before next week, assuming supporters can round up the 12 votes needed for committee approval.

One of the two holdouts, Del. Jill Carter (D-Baltimore) told WBAL-TV Wednesday afternoon that her concerns have been addressed.

"I'm content and ready to vote for the bill," Carter said.

By withholding her vote, Carter said that she hoped to create leverage to increase funding for Baltimore schools and to focus more attention on a child custody bill she is sponsoring. That bill could get a committee vote Thursday along with the same-sex marriage bill.

Del. Tiffany T. Alston (D-Prince George's), the other holdout, told The Post she is now prepared to vote -- but would not say how she would vote.

"I have not disclosed what my decision is going to be," Alston said. "I think people make the best decisions they can with the options that are available to them. I don't think anyone should hold any of our decisions against us because this is a very difficult decision."

Earlier in the day, Alston referred reporters to a statement she issued Wednesday morning in which she said she had needed "a little more time to weigh my final decision."

Del. Don H. Dwyer Jr. (R-Anne Arundel), a staunch opponent of the same-sex marriage bill, said the continuing delays are "a good thing, when you look at it from my perspective."

"That means the votes aren't there," Dwyer said.

By John Wagner and Sandhya Somashekhar  | March 2, 2011; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly, John Wagner, Same-Sex Marriage  
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Next: Md. same-sex marriage bill still in limbo

Comments

Holding another bill that you co-sponsor hostage is "represent[ing] all aspects of your constituency"? Even though it will do nothing except stall both initiatives? Whatever you say, Delegate.

Posted by: boomer400 | March 2, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The cowardice of politicians never cease to amaze me. Sam Arora and Jill Carter are wavering in their support for marriage equality. Guess who will NOT be reelected...

Again, LGBT individuals have nothing to expect from those they have elected. Promises have end up being hot air and discrimination is business as usual.

And as usual, LGBT individuals will sue for their rights. If Maryland doesn't grand marriage equality, then that will only mean that gay marriage will remain an issue in Maryland. And anywhere else in the US. Gays and lesbians will continue to sue for their rights and eventually SCOTUS will have no choice but to see the obvious.

Posted by: Skulander | March 3, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

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