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February 17, 2011

Same-sex marriage on Senate floor next week

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is set to vote a few hours from now on the controversial same-sex marriage bill, but Senate leaders are already assuming the measure will clear the panel and are planning for a week of debate on the divisive issue.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller warned senators to be "flexible" with their evening schedules and said the body might even have to work on the weekend. In addition the same-sex marriage, other issues that evoke passions -- including oyster poaching -- are set to be on the floor.

Miller predicted that debate on same-sex marriage would start in earnest on Tuesday. "I want everyone to have their say," he said. "When it appears people are repeating themselves, then we will take a cloture vote."
The senate president guessed the final passage vote would come Monday Feb. 28.

Advocates believe they have the votes to cut off debate. Whether they have the votes for final passage is much less clear. Twenty-three senators have said they'd vote for the bill, but 24 are needed. (See vote list after the jump.)
Three senators have not publicly declared their intentions -- though one, Baltimore's Joan Carter Conway, has hinted that she'll support the bill.

The other two undecided senators faced a scrum of reporters this morning after session. Sen. Jim Rosapepe, who represents College Park, rebuffed questions from WBAL's Dave Collins. Holding his hand up to his face, Rosapepe said: "No, comment." And then quickly walked down the statehouse stairs.

Rosapepe has said he will announce his position before the week is out.

Anne Arundel County's Sen. John Astle also wouldn't declare his intentions until the vote is called. "You'll see it on the board," he said. "Watch it on the board when I cast my vote."

Meanwhile, House leaders have already scheduled a committee hearing for their version of the bill on Friday Feb. 25.

Question: Do you intend to vote for or against the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act?


Sen. James Brochin, Baltimore County Democrat
Sen. Bill Ferguson, Baltimore Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Jennie Forehand, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Brian Frosh, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Rob Garagiola, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Lisa Gladden, Baltimore Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Verna Jones, Baltimore Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, Baltimore and Howard counties Democrat
Sen. Delores Kelley, Baltimore County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Nancy King, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Allan H. Kittleman, Howard County Republican
Sen. Katherine Klausmeier, Baltimore County Democrat
Sen. Richard Madaleno, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Roger Manno, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Nathaniel McFadden, Baltimore Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Karen Montgomery, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Paul Pinsky, Prince George's County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, Baltimore Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Victor Ramirez, Prince George's County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Jamie Raskin, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. James Robey, Howard County Democrat
Sen. Ronald Young, Frederick County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Bobby Zirkin, Baltimore County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Joanne Benson, Prince George's County Democrat
Sen. David Brinkley, Carroll and Frederick counties Republican
Sen. James Brochin, Baltimore County Democrat
Sen. Richard Colburn, Eastern Shore Republican
Sen. Ulysses Currie, Prince George's County Democrat
Sen. James DeGrange, Anne Arundel County Democrat
Sen. Roy Dyson, Southern Maryland Democrat
Sen. George Edwards, Western Maryland Republican
Sen. Joseph Getty, Baltimore and Carroll counties Republican
Sen. Barry Glassman, Harford County Republican
Sen. Nancy Jacobs, Harford and Cecil counties Republican
Sen. J.B. Jennings, Baltimore and Harford counties Republican
Sen. James Mathias, Eastern Shore Democrat
Sen. Thomas Middleton, Charles County Democrat
Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller, Prince George's and Calvert counties Democrat
Sen. C. Anthony Muse, Prince George's County Democrat
Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters, Prince George's County Democrat
Sen. E.J. Pipkin, Eastern Shore Republican
Sen. Edward Reilly, Anne Arundel County Republican
Sen. Christopher Shank, Washington County Republican
Sen. Bryan Simonaire, Anne Arundel County Republican
Sen. Norman Stone, Baltimore County Democrat

No public position/Undecided
Sen. John Astle, Anne Arundel County Democrat
Sen. James Brochin, Baltimore County Democrat (supports)
Sen. Joan Carter Conway, Baltimore Democrat
Sen. Ulysses Currie, Prince George's County Democrat (opposes)
Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, Baltimore and Howard counties Democrat (supports)
Sen. Katherine Klausmeier, Baltimore County Democrat (supports)
Sen. James Rosapepe, Prince George's County Democrat
Posted by Annie Linskey at 11:07 AM | | Comments (17)



Now lets get Medical Marijuana DONE!!

I hope God doesn't do to Maryland what he did to Sodom and Gomorrah; Katie O'Malley will have to become a pillar of salt.....Horay for Civil Rights....Boo to mixing politics and religion.

*sigh* Why did this whole anti-gay thing start in the first place? Because of a 2000-year-old work of fiction? Strange.

As a Christian, I want this to be legal. Gay people don't hurt others because they're gay, and if they do hurt others it's because they're human. I like the idea of everyone being able to marry. It sounds warm and fuzzy.

That being said, it isn't God's will because he specifically designed marriage to be between a man and woman, not between two men or two women....or someone who mutilates what they were born with, as if their natural gender was somehow a mistake. Really, TGs?

Likening this plight to the civil rights movement in the 1960s is way off base. Ethnic minorities couldn't even eat at the same lunch counter as white people.

Gay people are not born gay....and the truth is no one - Christians or otherwise - knows why people are gay. I personally think it's how an individual is raised and if they have the right father/mother figures in their homes who cares about their child's masculinity/femininity.

Is this intolerant? Probably....but anyone who has read the Bible even once knows that Jesus was one of the most intolerant people in the Bible....and loving. Hate is just as much of a sin as homosexuality, and I don't fancy myself as "better" than homosexuals...but I cannot keep quiet on Biblical truth anymore.

God loves us all, but that doesn't mean he doesn't do "tough love" like a parent would with a child.

Gay Marriage: An Alternate Perspective
First of all, the agreement that marriage is between two people (not 3 or 4 or 5) means that it is acceptable to limit who can get married. However, let’s not talk about legality or morality. Let’s talk about Biology – the Origin of the Species, and Natural Selection. All species are male and female; they have a natural ability and desire for sexual intercourse. Not only are males and females anatomically suited for each other, but intercourse is the only biological function that requires a male and female to be carried out. It is the only function for which they need each other. More importantly, this function allows them to produce more of their species. Therefore, sexual intercourse could be considered to be the most important function any species performs because procreation provides what is necessary for life to continue.
In humans, marriage describes the social act of a man and woman making a legal commitment to have a monogamous sexual relationship, living together, and taking care of each other and any children that result. However, the marriage does not begin when the wedding ceremony ends. It must first be consummated by sexual intercourse. Until the man and woman join in the natural sexual act that all species perform, there is no marriage.
A homosexual “couple” is physically incapable of sexual intercourse. They can sexually stimulate each other, just as you can sexually stimulate yourself. However, mutual masturbation is not the same as the natural sexual act of a man and a woman. For mere sexual stimulation, they do not need each other, and obviously there is no procreation. Therefore, homosexual activity is a deviation from natural activity, and it does not meet the biological requirements for marriage, so the term “gay marriage” is an oxymoron.


Intolerant? Definitely.

Evincing your ignorance? Definitely.

Evincing your arrogance. Definitely.

First. I was born Gay. Trust me on this. I was there. You weren't.

Second. All comparisons are imperfect and odious. But ... no Black kid had to hide who he was so as not to be thrown out of the house by his own family. No Black kid ever was told he would spend eternity in Hell because of who he loved. No Black kid ever contemplated suicide because of who he was (OK...I'll take that one back.)

And ... equal access to a civil process (i.e., Civil Marriage) *is* a civil right.

Third. Your theories on the origins of homosexuality are quaint, misinformed, and totally irrelevant to the matter at hand, as is your religious faith.

Sorry. Not being "intolerant." Just dealing in reality.

What is being debated in Annapolis is the law governing CIVIL MARRIAGE. Your church won't have to honor me with its sacrament of Holy Matrimony. But it's hardly like I'll be asking it to, anyway....

Ron Young, if this is how you are going to lend voice to the base you represent, you are not likely to be re-elected again. This is what happens when you elect a liberal. too bad the memory of Frederick residents is so short. You were wrong then, and you are wrong now! Remember this, Frederick County!!! Never again!!!

"Gay people are not born gay....and the truth is no one - Christians or otherwise - knows why people are gay."

Really, Bob? Were you born straight? I bet you think you were. So if one can be born straight, why can't I be born gay, as I know I was?

Oh, Mike. You are making this about sex, and it is so much more.

I'll go with what BankStreet had to say and second that emotion!

No, gays were never asked to sit at a separate lunch counter. But you appear sorely misinformed about the history of gays in this country and abroad. I'm not here to compare levels of persecution because of course it is varied for all groups (Jews, Catholics, Blacks, Muslims etc.). However, do not comment unless you know the history for gays. It is an ugly history and, just as you might not imagine how horrible it was for Blacks by looking at the situation today, the same is true for gays. The difference is that you are ignorant about gay history and persecution because it never makes history books and is never a subject of classes in high school and rarely in college (you'd have to pick that elective and something tells me you are not that kind of guy).

Try this for starters:

In the U.S. and abroad gays have been: imprisoned for sodomy (still occurs today), put in concentration camps in Germany for being gay, constantly raided by police in social gathering places, forced to live a lie and underground, listed in newspapers as being sex offenders when they have done no such thing, been subjected to electric shock treatment etc. to "cure" them, murdered and tortured and assaulted for being gay (Matthew Shepard and thousands upon thousands of others), not protected by the police, fired from jobs, considered a threat to society and national security, devalued as human beings resulting in the AIDS crisis being ignored in the 80s, deemed to have a mental illness until the 1970s, lived in fear, lost custody of children for being gay, committed suicide because of treatment or fear of society, dishonorably discharged from the military, and on and on. Today, you might note, in Uganda (and other countries in Africa and the Middle East), being gay can get you a long prison sentence or the death penalty.

Try to imagine yourself living as a gay person in the U.S. or abroad in say 1942 and see what you think of life.

Bob: Interesting that you proclaim that being gay is the result of poor parenting or a method of parenting. Really? The ignorance of that statement is astounding. Do you know how many gay boys loved trucks and the color blue and baseball growing up? Tons. Do you know how many parents forced trucks and the color blue and baseball on their sons when their sons loved dolls and pink and ballet instead? Plenty. And they're still gay.

It's scary that people's unsupported personal opinions are resulting in thousands of people having RIGHTS denied. This is why heterosexual people should not vote on the rights of gays and what is best for gays. Because they simply are ignorant about these things because they have no personal experience with them, have never had to be concerned with them, and find it easy to buy in to societal discrimination and prejudices because it simply does not affect them.

Mike Burke: Marriage is about sexual intercourse and procreation? This dumb statement has been refuted time and time and time again, yet people like you continue to repeat it. It's tiresome. When are you going to lobby the legislature to ban from marriage all those who do not have sexual intercourse currently with their partner/spouse because of lack of interest or maybe a medical condition? Or those who do not intend to have children but instead employ condoms or, gasp, have had a hysterectomy or the snip snip done?

So if this passes I want to see huge lines of homosexual married couples at the military recruiting stations across the state all signing up for the right they fought so hard for.

But we won't, cowards!

As a Roman Catholic, I find the hypocrisy to be appalling - whether it's the Pope's own (not-so-secret) nature paraded around in Prada shoes, Gucci glasses, and middle ages robes and capes, or if it's blasphemous lies claimed to be facts in the Bible or lies claimed to be Church fact.

A guy named Bob made a case for the only purpose of marriage is sex, male-female sexual intercourse specifically. Well, maybe the sacrament is about sex, and the only purpose of humans is sex (there is a case for that), however, there is no basis in fact in the Bible or in the Church that marriage was or has ever been limited to only male-female couples. The Roman Catholic Rite of The Holy Union of Same Sex Couples was practiced in Rome, in the Pope's own church, St John Lateran, as late as the 1940's. The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony between m/f couples did not exist in the Church for a thousand years. Women were considered a stain on the sanctity of the sacristy. However, Holy Unions with two men (not with women) were performed for centuries before 1000 AD. To this day, churches in many countries perform the Sacrament or blessing, after a couple is married by the government. While marriage is a civil function; the sacrament or blessing of couples before God was largely a way for the church to make money.

The idea that marriage is strictly about Church law, or that it's only function is for procreation to further the species, then, there is no point to discourage divorce, or even have marriage at all, because the species would be furthered faster with as many sexual partners as possible.

Fact is, marriage is codified into civil law as it has been for many thousands of years - and was never solely about male-female. Women were property, wives were property, but the civil laws were about getting a grasp on the associations. Marriage has always been a civil contract to track those pesky fertile peasants for various duties (the army, building infrastructure, etc) and for collecting taxes. In today's world, the law is loaded with references to marriage, not civil unions. When it comes to denying rights, the conservative stance is always, "if the law does not specifically spell out a situation, then the law does not apply to it" - hence their rationale that certain people's do not deserve legal protections. If anyone has forced the openness of marriage laws, it's the prejudiced conservatives who have worked so hard to deny "All men are created equal."

Uh the marriage bill has nothing to do with gays being in the military. Interesting that you just wanted to take a dig at gays and call them cowards. If you're referencing the unrelated federal law Don't Ask Don't Tell, gays are already in the military by the tens of thousands serving their country. They already had that right. DADT is about the right of those people to not have to live a lie while already courageously serving their country.

Do you serve in the military? If you never plan to, would you be ok if someone took away your right to just because say you are white or black or have blonde hair or are Jewish or left-handed or have a low IQ (most likely)?

SSM creates socially approved gender segregated homes (male/male or female/female). Traditional marriage creates socially approved gender integrated homes (male/female).

Gender segregated homes deprive children of either a mother or a father. All things being equal children do best when raised by their mother and father in a loving home. This is the transcendent human experience for over 4,000 years and is reflected in the fields of psychology and child development with their emphasis on the importance of the mother/child father/child relationship. Experts from Freud, Erikson, and Piaget speak of this vital relationship.

Against this vast body of work is a handful of contemporary "studies" whose weaknesses are well known within their respective disciplines. Lack of representative samples, small sample size, complicated comparisons, lack of heterogeneity of subject groups, measurement concerns, lack of statistical controls, & very limited data on children raised by gay fathers.

The "right" gays seek is not the same right that society has institutionalized in Conjugal Marriage.

The bigotry, hatred and lack of logic of the anti-marriage equality crowd has not ceased to amaze me.

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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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