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February 24, 2011

Senate vote on same-sex marriage expected tonight

Senators launched the final phase of their debate on the same-sex marriage bill this morning. The body discussed the bill for about two hours this morning.

They will reconvene at 5:30 p.m. and many expect to hold the final vote this evening.

The Senate gave preliminary approval to the Civil Marriage Protection Act with a 25-22 vote yesterday, a strong signal that the bill will achieve final passage. GOP leaders have threatened to filibuster the measure, but they've acknowledged they don't have the votes to stall the bill indefinitely.

The debate this morning remained remarkably civil, given lawmakers were discussing an issue on which many have strong opinions.

Sen. Richard Madaleno, the only openly gay member of the Senate, said the current law defining marriage as between a man and a woman: "makes thousands of families never forget that they are outsiders."

He said that many couples in Maryland "are wishing for this." Predicting that the body will pass the bill he said: "This will be a memorable day that will improve thousands of families around the state."

Opponents also invoked history. Sen. Bryan Simonaire, an Anne Arundel County Republican, said the "journals of history" will record Feb. 24, 2011 "as the day traditional marriage died in Maryland." If the House approves the bill, Gov. Martin O'Malley has said he will sign it.

Sen. Pipkin, an Eastern Shore Republican with a libertarian bent, said the state is moving too quickly to full marriage and would prefer Maryland to try out civil unions first. An effort turn the legislation into a civil unions bill in committee failed overwhelmingly.

The issue is not dividing strictly on party lines: Former Senate Minority Leader Allan Kittleman will support the bill and wore a necktie adorned with pictures of President Abraham Lincoln to celebrate the day.

-- Photo credit Julie Bykowicz.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 11:34 AM | | Comments (24)
Categories: 2011 legislative session


Bravo! Its good to see my home state join the 21st century and extend equal rights to all its citizens and fulfill that beautiful promise of "the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Makes me consider moving back there again.

My husband and I have a legal marriage certificate from Connecticut. It will be great to soon live in a state that honors full faith and credit as the federal system should in the nation and that promotes the idea of economic security for all its families. Ten years from now the words who of those who opposed this measure will be forgotten and we will ask why we even built such boundaries to love and diversity in family structures.

And to those that come after and invoke the argument that "marriage is between a man and a woman for procreation" brings disrespect on the millions of loving couples who cannot have children, choose not to have children, married later in life and cannot bear children, and those children legally adopted by gays and lesbians or born to gays and lesbians through invitro or surrogacy methods. Love is about spending you life with someone that cares and supports to through all of your days. Marriage is the one legal way we can provide economic security to that unit and ensure both individuals rights are protected against legal harm.

Opponents also invoked history. Sen. Bryan Simonaire, an Anne Arundel County Republican, said the "journals of history" will record Feb. 24, 2011 "as the day traditional marriage died in Maryland."

Yeah, I'm sure bigots said the same thing prior to the legalization of interracial marriage.

google images fro this phrase.

san francisco gay pride parade

You tell me these freaks have not CHOSEN to look and act like this!

God would not be this cruel to birth this kind of human.

Horray for Adam! Horray for Steve! Turns out it was you after all.

LOL God.

Who cares what your god thinks? I don't.

Anonymous, you tell people to google the phrase "San Francisco Gay Pride Parade" and then make a judgement about gay people based on the images they find on the internet? Don't you know how ridiculous that is? That would be like saying Google the phrase "Baltimore Hon Fest" and then say that the (presumably) heterosexual people in Maryland are a bunch of freaks. You can't judge millions of people based on what some people do and what they look like. And why do you have to pass judgement at all? What happens at the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade doesn't affect you, so mind your own business.

>the "journals of history" will record Feb. 24, 2011 "as the day traditional marriage died in Maryland."

I dunno. My husband and I moved here from Massachusetts in December of 2009. Traditional marriage was alive and well up there when we left. That state--and Canda--prove that same-gender marriage can exist alongside opposite-gender marriage perfectly well without "killing" it. Also, FWIW, Massachusetts has one of the lowest divorce rates in the nation; they must be doing something right up there.

It took me 46 years to live an open and honest life. Think how much easier it will be for gay teens when they see loving and stable same sex marriages. It gives them something healthy to aspire to. Gosh, I can't imagine how I would have felt if I could have seen that when I grew up in the 70s. Now I am hoping that I can marry the person that I have finally found. After almost six years of being together, our relationship has stood the test of time and the chance for a successful marriage would be a lot greater than many heterosexual couples. NC will be behind the curve so let's pray that the fed gov't continues to pave the way for those outside of Maryland or the other progressive states.

If this bill passes, I will be changing my party affiliation to Republican. Republicans are clear against homosexual marriages and so am I. I don't won't to be affiliated with the party that condones homosexuality or irresponsible spending. So long Democrat's.....

Funny how the test vote passed when the majority of Marylanders polled last week are against gay marriage. As elected leaders are the voice of the people, they should listen to their constintuents. Not to mention, the MD Constitution actually requires that this goes to the people for final decision, not "vote on it and then the people can put it on the ballot for repeal." People first!

Outsiders is a sad word. It is even more sad that plenty of people want many other people to remain outsiders, too.

You don't have to be gay to say that. Just rejected, once.

Actually Mathi, the Poll among MD voters showed that most Marylanders are in favor of same sex marriage.... in fact this is why it is doubtful this question will ever reach referendum in the state. Opponents know it would be a waste of time and effort.
Don't continue to compromise my Civil Rights -- People First !!!

Mathi: I don't believe the Md. Constitution requires a referendum on this at all. Where do you come up with stuff like this?

It is true that if, and only if, a certain minimum of Maryland voters demand a referendum on this issue, then, and only then, can it go to referendum.

There is no automatic referendum.

We are talking about law here, please be precise in your speech.

Let 'em get married if they want to, what's the big deal about two consenting adults getting married?

It's not going to affect my marriage. Every time I hear a nutcase saying "it'll undermine marriage" I wait for the explanation of how, but it's never forthcoming…just the same old rant.

Let 'em marry and be happy if they can.

Michael Wright, you'll find more and more Republicans are pro-gay rights. And many Dems are still anti-gay. It's all about leveraging your hatred for their own purposes. If you took the time to analyze how this vote came to the floor, you would understand it couldn't have happened w/o Republican support.

I am sure we all can co-exist. You are no threat to us.

But the Christian right is treating this like the Domino Theory. One state falls to gay marriage, another one will, and so on.

Vietnam became Communist and the world is still here. Hawaii is still here. Guam is still here. Just another civil war of many, one side begging from the USSR and China and the other side begging from us.

Maryland has gay marriage and the heterosexual couples will find out that the sky hasn't fallen after all.

My wife and I got married in Massachusetts in 2009. A few months later, the Attorney General of Maryland opined that Maryland law would recognize legal same-sex marriages from other states. Somehow, our friends and neighbors have not suddenly abandoned their own heterosexual marriages based on this. Indeed, my son will marry his (female) fiancée next month.

SB 116
Motion limit debate (Senator Garagiola) Adopted (30-17)
Third Reading Passed (25-21)


This is truly a sign of the times, to actually celebrate something that is against GODS will and to even entertain the idea that this law should pass just goes to show that parents of this decade really have no interest in what their kids see..... I'll say this....and take it anyway that you want.....i hope and pray that when the trumpit sounds and GOD decends to this rock , those parents, teens, and law makers that knows what the word says be held accountable......GOD forgive me for what i am about to say but if its introduced to my kids in any way, shape or form i will be inflecting violence and serious bodily harm to whomever (male or female)

Someone needs to come up with a Don Dwyer/Emmett Burns Drinking Game of Hate for when this comes up in the House.

I cant believe Nathaniel Mcfadden sold out for this mess. What or who do you beleive in .I wonder.

"I cant believe Nathaniel Mcfadden sold out for this mess. What or who do you beleive in .I wonder."

His constituents, like myself who have spoken up to him

Its that easy to sell out.No Christian standards at all Nathaniel Mcfadden Im disappointed in you.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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