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February 1, 2011

GOP senators: We will not support gay marriage

The Senate's GOP caucus leaders sent out a less-than-resounding resolution opposing gay marriage this afternoon. The caucus -- 11 of the 12 members attended this morning -- voted to oppose the Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Protection Act, which allows same-sex couples to receive marriage licenses.

But the level of GOP cohesiveness on the issue is unclear. Official caucus positions must reflect the views of at least eight members, according to a press release announcing the GOP view. "We met that threshold," said Senate Minority Leader Nancy Jacobs.

One member who didn't agree was Sen. Allan Kittleman (pictured on the right.) The Howard County Republican relinquished his leadership post last month in part due to his moderate views on gay marriage.

"I voted that we shouldn't take a position on the bill," Kittleman said. "I don't think it was a good move. ... I think there are a lot of Republicans who would want to extend equal rights to same-sex couples."

Kittleman has said he will introduce a civil unions bill which would provide equal legal rights to same sex couples, but withhold marriage certificates. Advocates on both sides of the issue dislike the idea. Gay rights supporters want full marriage; detractors say that civil unions are merely a way station to full marriage.

And Kittleman has not yet introduced the civil unions bill, causing some  to speculate that he's not going to do it. A Monday deadline is looming to get it in before it would face the additional hurdle of clearing the Senate Rules Committee.

He also hasn't said how he'd vote on full gay marriage.

The gay marriage bill has 18 co-sponsors in the Senate, but needs the blessing of 24 for passage. Twenty-nine votes are needed to cut off Senate debate, though several senators including Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller have said they'd split their vote: Casting a ballot against gay-marriage but supporting an end to a filibuster.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 3:10 PM | | Comments (21)
Categories: 2011 legislative session


Kittleman... described the measure as legislation to provide equal marriage rights to same sex couples, but not a marriage certificate.

You're getting closer Mr Kittleman (and thank you) but we're still hung up on the superficial and the semantic.

The objective needs to be a one where ALL couples, regardless of race, creed, national origin, or sexuality are on an equal legal footing, w/r/t all the rights and responsibilities that affect such a legal agreement. No more and no less than this is needed.

Keep the State and the Church aspects separate. When ALL couples who apply for a license... that license needs to be for the civil union. Some expenses for printing new forms and some signage at the County Clerks office are all that need to be changed.

If some of those couples choose to go the additional step beyond the CIVIL RIGHTS of a recognized and legal minimum to engage in some sort of religiously sanctioned ceremony, such shouldn't be anyone's business but the people involved and their officiant.

On the point of the semantics battle so many seem more interested in fighting: Words matter but rights matter more.

There is no need to go poking the opposition in the eye with a stick by trying to redefine the M word.
There's just no percentage in riling them up.

Can we get a list of how many of these marriage "defenders" have been divorced and remarried? And how many times? I mean the anti-gay bigots that are the darlings of the far-right like Rush Limbaugh and New Gingrich have been through many marriages and affairs. And have lathered, rinsed, and repeated many times.

Good to see that most senate Republicans are against it. I'm hoping it will die in the legislature but if it doesn't, we'll get a state vote on the issue.

The right wing votes against personal freedoms. What else is new?

And these clowns wonder why they are the minority party in Maryland, always getting bogged down on social issues.

It is a waste to stall this bill. Even a public vote is senseless. Did we forget that our Attorney General said that Maryland would recognize out of state same-sex marriages...hmmm, DC is a border. Therefore, it makes no sense that a couple can be married in DC and it be recognized in Maryland, but an in-state marriage is currently forbidden.

Many bring up their religious beliefs, but what happened to the separation of church and state. All those opposed to same-sex marriage, riddle me this, how are you affected if I marry my girlfriend of several years? I hold a professional degree, I volunteer my time to the community, I am a law abiding citizen, and I happen to be Christian...many qualities which you probably share. I could care less about your marriage choice, so why do you care about mine?
The sanctity of marriage is always provided as an excuse, but that is crap...the number one movie at the box office is "No Strings Attached" and last night watching Wheel of Fortune, a heterosexual male stated that he had a child with his girlfriend (not wife!). Marriage and monogamy are only pushed when it is convenient. Religion is similar...we have people with loose morals condemning gays, go figure!

Believe what you may..but I did not choose to be ostracized, denied, and treated like a second class citizen!

Sorry for the rant, but bigotry grinds my gears!


Maybe you missed the results of the latest Gonzales Research?

Mike, it was 55-44 for same sex marriage and 56-36 for the death penalty. But the death penalty has been put on indefinite hold by Governor O'Malley. Popular support doesn't always translate into legislative outcomes. And neither same sex marriage nor the death penalty came up in 'most important issues' facing the state. The debate will surely take up days if not weeks of the legislature's time when they should be focusing on jobs, the economy and the deficit. Deal with the social issues when people aren't going hungry at night.

The state has the power to regulate marriage, and therefore, cannot discriminate in administering it. If the religious groups don't want same sex couples getting married, then they shouldn't have let the state control it (they would never let the state control sacraments such as baptism). That leaves only two possible resolutions in this matter. Allow same sex marriages, thus providing equal protection under the law, or, have the state get out of the marriage altogether, eliminating the perks and privileges that were artificially contrived to encourage couples to marry.

Personally, I wish the government would get out the marriage business, but that will never happen.

Mr. "Give me a Break" needs to ask someone to "Give him a Bible". Evidently he has self-proclaimed himself a christian with not even knowing what it means to be a christian. Part of being a christian means standing up for Gods word in the Bible. And the Bible is explicit in so many verses that marriage is between a man and a woman, which God created both. And as usual if you stand up for Gods word against gay marriage, people like Mr. "Give me a Break" label you a bigot. Nothing could be further from the truth. True christians have faith in God and his word and they will never be moved from it. Secularists will never understand the true faith of the christian. True christians will stand strong and courageous for God and his word and the "bigot" label will not move them from their cause.

Jeez, how pathetic guys....

Onward to full marriage equality rights now. Period.

Cheers, Joe Mustich, Officiant,
Red Studio Farm,
Washington Green CT USA.

Marriage is a civil issue here in the US, as marriage licenses are issued by and recorded in town halls, not church halls, or mosques or temples, so move on dudes...

So Scott, if you're such a believer in "Gods (sic) word in the Bible", do you adhere to God's prohibition on eating shellfish (Leviticus 11:11-12)? Do you agree that it's OK to buy a slave (Leviticus 25:44-45)? Do you make sure that your wife isn't having her time of the month before you have "relations" with her (Leviticus 20:18)?

Er ... Scott, perhaps you should pick up a copy of the Constitution, which protects me (and every other citizen) from the imposition of religious dogma into civil law. The bill being considered in Annapolis has NOTHING to do with religion -- yours or anyone else's. It would make changes to Maryland's laws governing CIVIL marriage, which has always been available to couples with absolutely no religious identity or faith. Your religion is irrelevant to this discussion.

BankStreet: Though I support marriage equality without reservation I can’t accept your idea that “religion is irrelevant to this discussion.”

Mr. Kittleman’s compromise idea had been floated by him as a way to protect religion. Similarly the current bill, even in its title, the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act,” discusses religion.

Similarly Equality Maryland’s website mentions “religious,” “Catholic,” and “Mormon,” on their front page. On their marriage page they mention “religion” nine times. Also they are hosting a “Clergy Day” in Annapolis on Thursday.

So religion is relevant for both sides in this debate.

Meanwhile the Maryland Catholic Conference has massive financial resources and the traditional African American churches have massive people resources. We would hope that church and state would be separate and I trust they will be in the General Assembly. But if this bill is challenged with a referendum in 2012 there will be no way to keep religion out of the mix.

My recommendation is that Senators Garagiola and Madaleno start praying very hard and hope that Truman and Oscar Wilde are whispering in God’s ear also.


Perhaps I should have said, "religion SHOULD be irrelvant to this discsussion."

The references you cite to religion and religious organizations are merely symptomatic of the intrusion of the religious community into what is clearly a matter of civil/secular law. Equality Maryland realizes it needs to placate the religious community with continuous assurances that marriage equality affects them not at all ... and that "the religious community" is hardly monolithic in its opposition.

The only legitimate interest religious communities have in this debate is in acknowleging that extending the protection of civil marriage to same-sex couples (and, by extension, to their families) would honor loving committment and enhance stability in those households -- a worthy endeavor for religion, no?

This approach will insure peace in our time BankStreet, We are only surrendering the Sudetenland and letting them march the transgendered into the Warsaw Ghetto.

I believe it is peace for our time . . . peace with honour.

Although I do not agree with same sex "marriage", there is a way for them to get the same benefits that unmarried hetrosexual couples do and that would be through the legal system. Anyone can buy a house or own a vehicle together (with right of survivorship), open a bank account (with right of survivorship), give permission for access to health records and visitation while in the hospital to another person and to draw up a will together. The only reason same sex couples want to "marry" is to legitimize their "lifestyle" so that the rest of us will think it's normal . I know a few same sex couples that already do these things and don't feel the need to "marry". They have all the security they need, probably more than some unmarried hetrosexual couples. All same sex couples need to do is think "outside the box" (which they already do) and they can resolve all of their main issues without upsetting the world by demanding the right to marry. Regarding what the Bible says, it tells us humans to "go and procreate in order to increase the population of this world". Although some hetrosexual couples go the "surrogate" route for whatever reason, same sex couples "only" have that option as they can't procreate on their own. Religion and homosexuality are fine for those who believe but please don't foist your beliefs on me and expect me to accept them as "gospel". I'm am entitled to my opinions and just because they don't agree with yours doesn't mean I'm wrong. Remember, as an American I am free to think and feel what I want but not the right to demand that you feel the same way. I hope that we can all give each other that right in order to have a civil discussion about this issue.

I understand there was legislation a couple of years ago provideing equal rights to these citizens, and their coalition rejected the bill ? If equal rights is your agenda what happened ? I believe this minority wants to have there unions to be equal to a mariage between a Man and a women, I guess we need to include the instructions handed down thru time in the story of the birds and the bees to the public school curiculum

I have a question for the Sun reporter who wrote the story about the Republican legislators being against this piece of legislation. How come you did not also report that a group of African American Ministers were also in Annapolis lobbying against this legislation? Could it be that because of their Ethnicity you were afraid to infer that the Ministers were bigots as you obviously tried to infer about the Republican legislators?

As an atheist homosexual, why should YOUR viewpoints and beliefs have any effect upon MY life?

I'm not asking for the right to be married in your place of worship. I am asking for the same rights heterosexuals have in this state and country.

It's actually really simple:
EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL! Do you not believe in equal right?

Ok, so no one has the RIGHT to judge anyone else,, thats the christians view point right? so all the "christians" who do so are sinning.
Marriage should occur in church "only" if you are Christian, if you are not then regardeless of gender it is a civil union.
Everyone has the same rights-for goodness sake you call yourselves the "Land of the Free" all I hear is class distinctions and judgments on other people. Maybe you guys need to do some inward thinking,, those in glass houses and all that.

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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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