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Posted at 9:43 AM ET, 03/ 7/2011

A civics lesson for Maryland's leaders

By Todd Eberly

As a professor of political science, I admit that I tend to view political issues through a slightly different lens than many voters and certainly many elected leaders. Few things frustrate me more than when people fundamentally fail to understand the difference between a direct democracy and a representative republic. America is of course the latter, yet is all too often treated by voters and even representatives as if it is the former.

I've thought of this important distinction quite a lot lately as Maryland's legislature has been considering a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage. Similar bills had been introduced in the past, but they never survived Maryland's Senate -- considered by many to be the more conservative half of the Maryland Assembly. When the legislation was introduced this year, political observers in the state again viewed the Senate as the challenge, and the House of Delegates as more friendly territory. Then the conventional wisdom was upended. The state Senate passed the marriage equality legislation by a vote of 25-21 after little more than two weeks of wrangling. Shortly after passing in the Senate, it became clear that the House of Delegates was not nearly so friendly.

What was most surprising was that the bill was being derailed in the House not by vocal opponents of the measure, but rather by delegates who had openly supported, even co-sponsored the measure. Dels. Tiffany Alston and Jill Carter prevented a vote on the bill in the Judiciary committee because they were having second thoughts about a bill each had co-sponsored. In the end, the bill was approved by the committee; Carter voted for it, but Alston voted against it, complaining: "This has not been the deliberative process that we normally engage in in this committee." Perhaps the committee could have deliberated more had she not staged a walk-out when the bill was up for consideration.

Another bill sponsor, Del. Sam Arora, suddenly announced that he was opposed to the bill he sponsored and would vote against it on the floor. Two days later, he announced that he once again supported the bill that he had co-sponsored.

All of this intrigue is likely the result of a simple gamble taken by many delegates.

[Continue reading Todd Eberly's post at The FreeStater Blog.]

Todd Eberly blogs at The FreeStaterBlog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Todd Eberly  | March 7, 2011; 9:43 AM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Maryland, same-sex marriage  
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Alston is a whining disgrace.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 7, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

INCORRECT! Neither Delegate Alston nor Delegate Carter prevented a vote. There was a quorum even with their absence and the committee was free to vote. Delegate Alston expressed unreadiness and second thoughts. She voted against the bill.Delegate Carter never expressed second thoughts about supporting the bill. She expressed displeasure with the process and with the leadership pushing the same-sex mariage bill on the fast track and limiting debate while public education funding and equal parenting, two issues of equal importance to her constituents, were on the back burner. Delegate Arora was threatened into submission. This is not democracy.

For the record, education and children's rights to parental access are more important and more urgent.

Posted by: truthpatrol | March 7, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Actually - quite correct:


Posted by: toddeberly | March 7, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Please Read books on both sides before voting.
Here is my side:

1. Out From Under: The Impact of Homosexual Parenting, by Dawn Stefanowicz, Nov 2007,

2. Ex-Gay Research: Analyzing the Spitzer Study and Its Relation to Science, Religion, Politics, and Culture,

3. A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, by Nicolosi and Nicolosi, 2002

4. Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church's Moral Debate, 2000,
by Stanton L. Jones & Mark A. Yarhouse. (I have read the introduction and the 1st chapter)

5. You Don't Have to Be Gay, by Jeff Konrad, 2000

6. Handbook of Child and Adolescent Sexual Problems by George A. Rekers, 1995
A description is at:

7. Gender Identity Disorder and Psychosexual Problems in Children & Adults, by Zucker & Bradley, 1995

8. Healing Homosexuality, by Joseph Nicolosi, 1993

9. The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, by Michael Fumento, 1990, 1993.

10. Homosexuality: A Psychoanalytic Study, by Irving Bieber et al, 1962, 1988 (I read the 1962 version in 1987)
11. The Homosexual Matrix, by C. A. Tripp, 1987

12. Straight: A Heterosexual Talks About His Homosexual Past, by William Aaron, 1972

13. One in Twenty, by Bryan Magee, 1968

14. What Every Parent Should Know About Homosexuality, by Peter & Barbara Wyden, 1968

21 books cited in Joseph Nicolosi’s 2003 book,
A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality

1. Love Won Out by Anne Paulk
2. Gender Identity Disorder and Psychosexual Problems in Children and Adolescents by Kenneth J. Zucker
3. Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality: A New Clinical Approach by Joseph Nicolosi
4. The "Sissy Boy Syndrome" and the Development of Homosexuality by Richard Green
5. Someone I Love Is Gay: How Family & Friends Can Respond
by Anita Worthen
6. Growth into Manhood: Resuming the Journey by Alan Medinger
7. Take Off the Masks: The Classic Spiritual Autobiography:
Revised With a New Epilogue by Malcolm Boyd
8. Una Pizca De Prevencion by Don Schmierer
9. Presentations of Gender by Robert J. Stoller
10. Sex and gender (The International psycho-analytical library)
by Robert J Stoller
11. Growing Up Straight: What Every Thoughtful Parent Should Know About Homosexuality, by Peter Wyden
12. Focus on the Family: Study Guide by James C. Dobson
13. Making Us Crazy by Herb Kutchins
14. The Selling of DSM: The Rhetoric of Science in Psychiatry
(Social Problems and Social Issues) by Herb Kutchins
15. Breaking the Surface by Greg Louganis
16. Bringing Up Boys by James C. Dobson
17. My Genes Made Me Do It! by Neil E. Whitehead
18. Homosexuality and American Public Life by Christopher Wolfe
19. When Wish Replaces Thought: Why So Much of What You Believe Is False by Steven Goldberg
20. What's a Father to Do?: Facing Parents' Toughest Issues
by Don Schmierer
21. Leonardo da Vinci by Sigmund Freud

Posted by: MustDoTheHomework | March 7, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

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