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March 2, 2011

Vote on same-sex marriage today unlikely

UPDATE: Del. Jill Carter tells WBAL-TV this afternoon that she, too, is now ready to vote in favor of same-sex marriage. 

The House Judiciary Committee does not plan to hold a voting session today on whether to allow same-sex couples to marry.

Yesterday, Dels. Jill Carter of Baltimore and Tiffany Alston of Prince George's County -- two Democratic sponsors of the House bill -- skipped a voting session, throwing a wrench into what was to have been a majority vote on the committee to send the divisive issue to the full House of Delegates. Last week, the civil marriage proposal won Senate approval. 

Alston said she needed more time to think about the proposal, but just before 2 a.m. today, she sent a statement saying she is now prepared to vote, apparently in favor of legalizing marriage for same-sex couples. 

Carter said yesterday that she was withholding support of the same-sex marriage bill to draw attention to other causes, city education funding and her own bill on joint custody of children in divorces.

After the morning House session, Carter refused to speak with reporters, saying The Sun had done her "a disservice" with its coverage. She did not elaborate. This morning, she sent a statement to the Associated Press reiterating the position she took yesterday.

In it, she said she "has always been and remains a supporter of marriage equality" and that by not voting yesterday, she was trying to send a message to leadership that education funding should be "prioritized" in the way that same-sex marriage has been.

She later spoke to WBAL's David Collins, saying she was "absolutely" ready to vote on gay marriage.

"There were some things I wanted to have discussed first," she told WBAL, adding that same-sex marriage "was getting all of the attention."  She said she was trying to get Judiciary Chairman Joseph F. Vallario Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch "to hear me out."

Comments abound on Carter's two Facebook pages. In response to one posting, she writes that she does not want to be made a "scapegoat." 

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 3:24 PM | | Comments (43)
Categories: 2011 legislative session


This is just laughable. Delegate Carter supports us yet says the press and leadership is lame. Sounds like a politician having an identity crisis to me. And so thousands of us suffer waiting for her decision... real leadership not.

After the morning House session, Carter refused to speak with reporters, saying The Sun had done her "a disservice" with its coverage

Read likes a Sara Palin comment blaming the press for her troubles.

She doesn't want to be a scapegoat despite blocking a vote on a bill she is co-sponsoring? Makes as much sense as Charlie Sheen's recent rants.

And the end result of all this is more time wasted rather than moving onto other issues, like Del. Carter's bills, cause she has to drag this process out.

If time is so precious, then bring these bills on through committee for an up/down vote. Stop the side talks and grandstanding.

Deligate Carter: You're done doing your thing on the potty, now get off and do your rightful thing and get in there and vote. If you don't I bet you won't get re-elected. You are cutting your own throat!!!!

You know, I've gotten over being angry at this bit of political theater. But it hurts beyond what I can explain being treated by my own state like trash, My partner and I have been together for 30 plus years, through times horrible and wonderful, just like any other committed marriage. We have been together while we watch our straight friends go through multiple marriages and divorces. We take care of our family, work hard, pay our taxes and don't ask anyone for anything. The only thing we are asking is for respect and to be treated fairly like any other citizens.

I want to thank the legislators who have voted and will vote for equality. For the rest, I can only hope that you think back on the aoth you took when you became legislators. You are there to uphold the law and the Constitution. In our civil system of government, that takes primacy. Have your own personal religious beliefs but keep them separate from your duty under the law.

I'll make this simple:

Ms. Carter, I will contribute large sums of money to anyone who opposes you in your next election, to punish you for this backpedaling. Do your job and vote for this bill, or be punished at the polls.

The state sanctioning unnatural copulation between cognitive capable adults is a clear indicator of the influence of extremists liberals and the rate of societal degradation in Maryland. This measure will put Maryland on a short list of extremists liberal states and encourage moderate and conservatives not to invest here.

Del. Carter is a coward. Don't "disservice" the thousands of Marylanders who have been denied certain civil rights for centuries. Get in there and vote or many, many people WILL make sure you do not win re-election.

It is a shame to read the blattant selfishness portrayed in these comments. Every society has laws. It is the law of Maryland that marriage is between one man and one woman. Because "GAYS" want the world to know about their sexual partner choices is not reason enough to change the law.

I challenge any supporter of this to allow it to go to referendum; let the people of Maryland decide. GAYS believe that opinions and sentiments are changing in their favor, let's test that theory.

Otherwise, I believe that you should back off of Delegate Carter. I know that she is seeking to do what is best for all!

Hey Usgov,
I am really okay with bigots not doing business in our state, what about you?

this bill may work or it may not

I know that you people know better than to legalize this crap!! There are so many "In the closet) gays that I wouldn't doubt that the House and Senate is filled with them.. This is ridiculous.

hope she votes no

@Charles: It's "selfish" for "GAYS" to want civil equality? It's "selfish" for "GAYS" to want to have the same legal rights as hetersexual marriages have? This has NOTHING to do with letting "the world know about their sexual partner"...if that was the goal, there would be no need for any marriage equality law, each and every gay couple could just buy up billboards to show the "world" who they're dating. You are foolish and missing the point. This is about LEGAL benefits that come with marriage that are not currently guaranteed for same-sex couples, so YES, it is reason enough to change the law.

If Delegate Carter feels so strongly about other pressing issues, she would do well NOT to delay the discussion of this bill so that we can finally move on to her other bills.

Mr. Johnson,
Clearly , you are another dinosaur regarding basic human rights. One day , you and your ilk will be extinct, thank the goddess. 75% or more of people under the age of 25 support gay marriage.

As to Jill Carter, she always does what is best for herself and only herself. That will never change.

Charles - I could care less who knows about my commited relationship of 13 years. I just want equal rights -- why is this so difficult for people like you to understand? What other civil rights issue has been put to a popular vote? You mind your business, and I'll mind mine.

I hope she does the right thing and votes for this major issue.

It was a bad judgement call on her part, but we all make mistakes. I just hope her mistake is one that can be correct in time, "Vote yes of marriage equality for all."

Del. Carter is to be the next history lesson.

Wow. Wanting equal rights is called selfish when it is gays wanting them. And who else besides gays gets their rights voted on by the majority.

If we lose the referendum, everyone loses. But it'll pass in time. And those against it will have to bear the burden of being on that side of history. You can be on Oprah in a decade or two or three, like all the former racists who spit on kids as they walked into desegregated schools or the people who treating those with AIDS horribly, confessing how hateful and ignorant it was of you.

Mike Smith: You obviously have not been paying close attention to this issue. Every person who mentions gay marriage anywhere talks about THE RIGHTS and BENEFITS that come with marriage. What a low and ignorant blow to say that gays want gay marriage so the world will know about their sexual partner. So sad. I feel ashamed to share this State with you.

All of a sudden the gay haters love Delegate Carter when 2 seconds ago she was A SPONSOR OF THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BILL THAT YOU THINK WILL SINK MARYLAND AND EVERY PERSON IN IT.

To the gay community stop being mad and let this bill come to a referendum let the voters of md decide all of you same sexers are md voters. Something else for you to ponder u were not born out of two men or two women

>You know, I've gotten over being angry at this bit of political theater. But it hurts beyond what I can explain....

I second this. Someone is playing games with something so fundamentally human and precious: the love that binds my family and the social support for that love.

This is painful.

Having been in Massachusetts--where my love and family were equal and respected--until a year ago and then possibly facing a referendum--where people might get to restrict my love and family based on their criticisms of me--is...a burden. It's very, very, VERY difficult.

Jen: You credited me with the wrong comment. The comment you referenced was Charles Johnson. Our comments are ABOVE our names.

On that note, I wholeheartedly agree with your comment, Jen. Same sex couples want to enjoy the same rights and benefits as straight couples do in the privacy of their own homes. The world doesn't need to know about their choices. Quite frankly, it's none of the world's business. Same sex couples simply don't want to be second class citizens anymore and they want to rid the state of discrimination.

I think I will ponder that I wasn't born out of two men or two women. I had never thought of that. It also makes me think, hmm, I was born out of a Jew and a Christian and my dad often wears blue while my mom loves green. Wow, you are blowing my mind. (What a moron.)

I hate gays so much that I hope it comes to a referendum whether they can have a public education in this state, whether they can get a driver's license, whether they can adopt children, whether they can get a security clearance, whether they can get Medicaid, whether they can reproduce, whether they can teach in Maryland's public schools, whether they can publically acknowledge their gayness, whether they can be a member of any church etc.

Oh wait, it's wrong to have Marylanders vote at the polls on those things?

But marriage is different. Really? Let's have a referendum that says that marriage is limited to a man and a woman who are capable of procreating or a man and a woman who have never been previously divorced or who have never been convicted of a violent act. There are no priorities for these peoples except to villify gays. Period.

People always have an excuse for hate, until decades when hate will be seen as just that...hate...or ignorance.

For me the selflishness is in those who want to dictate how others lead their lives when it does not impact them at all.

The lord almighty will be punishing everyone involved in this devilish bill!

Jill, like Tiffany, has seen the light! And seen the 1000s of emails they received as well as really bad press. Thank Goodness they have seen the error of their ways.

Oh stop it, Dreadman2011 before we drop a house on you too!

Obviously she lied in order to gain votes. That's the best way to ruin your own reputation Jill. We all deserve the right to get married and you pretend to go along with it just to gain votes. Obviously the ones that voted for you aren't going to vote again. People are so prude these days.

Pathetic. Just take the vote and get on with it. Voting No will hurt so many people but voting 'pro-equality' can help so many. Remember, just because a No vote happens, people will still be gay and gay people will still raise children.

Jill's always said she would vote for it, don't pretend she's only now 'seen the light.' She's cosponosred this bill this year and numerous times in the past - she's never opposed it.

I don't see anything wrong with her wanting to highlight other issues just as important.

Thank you Del. Jill Carter for clarifying things and avoiding further delay. I forgive you of this little hiccup and appreciate you have gotten back on course. It was a lame political play, yeah, but I do give you credit for being an equal marriage rights supporter then and now. Apparently that's not an easy thing to do in this climate for some legislators. That's a shame. But kudos to you for getting back to where you've always been. And kudos to whoever behind the scenes got you there. : )

Hey Dreadman, can I have your car when the rapture comes?

Time to boycott everything Maryland including my alma meter, all sports teams including the Redskin since they're in Landover, Ocean City, restaurants, and whatever else needs to be boycotted until REAL Marylanders speak and demand their right to vote on fantasy marriage.

SLP - I am MORE THAN HAPPY to join your list of 'bigots' to boycott Maryland. After the gays and perverts and any other sex deviants drive the state into the financial ghetto, we the 'bigots' will be ready to take over and restore Maryland to financial wealth. Until then, we'll take our money and investments and off into the sunset we go. Tallyho to all sex deviants. Enjoy your alternative-fantasy lifestyles while you have little chance too.

Now I can see the Westboro Church is alive and well - thanks to all you poltician and citizen sex deviants.

ACLU lobbyists are pressuring the Delegates, political leadership is cutting back room deals, and the Sun is reporting unwarranted verbal attacks against defenders of traditional marriage. Did you the Sun’s 20 February article, “Some Catholics support gay marriage,” and Julian Bond’s editorial of 22 Feburary? In the article, Delegate Mizeur, a Roman Catholic lesbian, is quoted as saying “We will counter our opponents’ extremism with love…” Mr. Bond portrays the definition of marriage as a form of discrimination and bigotry. Are gay and lesbian couples so insecure with their self-image or so jealous and intolerant of traditional families that they must attack opponents of same-sex marriage as extremists and bigots?

Articles on the topic of same-sex marriage frequently stir emotions and incorrectly portray the debate as either a religious or a discrimination issue. It is neither. The debate is one of challenging Webster’s New World Dictionary definition of marriage as being the “relation between a man and a woman who have become husband and wife.” Societies, nations, and ethnic groups throughout the world and over periods of centuries have essentially recognized Webster’s definition. I am not aware of any society in the history of the world that survived by advocating same-sex unions while demeaning traditional marriages.

Contemporary societies widely accept and accommodate gay and lesbian relationships. Laws within the United States have changed to recognize same-sex civil unions and to grant legal rights such as health care facility visitation, tax rights, and health care decision-making. In lieu of attacking couples in tradition marriages, I suggest same-sex couples pursue legislation wherever they perceive other gaps exist and that they coin a new term to convey their unique relationship. This matter can be resolved by state referendum resulting in a law declaring that same-sex civil unions have all the rights, privileges, and protections of those in traditional marriages.

Male couples and female couples may have legal rights equal those in traditional male-female marriages, but the relationships are obviously not the same. The word marriage should be exclusively reserved to describe the unique commitment between a man and a woman. The traditional, basic family unit – a marriage between a man and a woman – is the fundamental building block of human society. It is the only relationship capable of bringing a baby into the world. Based upon this fact, ancient civilizations and modern governments recognized, honored, protected, and promoted the sanctity of marriage. Maryland HB 963, The Marriage Protection Act, is another measure intended to acknowledge and perpetuate that special relationship.

There is a significant difference between accepting same-sex civil unions and promoting them. Senate Bill 116, renamed the “Civil Marriage Protection Act” should not be enacted. If the term marriage is de facto politically redefined as a loving, life-long commitment between two human beings, will I be able to marry my children, extended family members and all my neighbors? Will we become gender-blind as the government redefines the words husband, wife, mother, and father? Will designated days to honor mothers and fathers be changed to Parents Day? Will all governmental and business forms be revised to replace the terms mother and father with parent #1 and parent #2?

Individuals enter into same-sex relationships on their own free will. As is the case with any decision, they should take responsibility for the outcomes of their actions without expecting the vast majority of society to redefine its norms, values, customs, and cultural traditions.

On 15 December, the Baltimore Sun reported that fewer than 10 percent of city households fit the “traditional” mold of a married couple with children. In light of Baltimore’s poor record of performance in public schools, coupled with its high drug addiction and crime rates, should the state legislature be taking action on SB 116 that will erode the respect for the invaluable role of marriages and the contributions of traditional family units? Do Baltimore’s current family demographics depict a model worthy of emulation? I urge the Delegates to quickly kill the same-sex marriage bill and then take action on the critical concerns affecting the vast majority of citizens – jobs, education, public safety and the budget.

you cannot normalize homosexuality. it is a perversion of human behavior. it always has been and it always will be. even if states legalize gay marriage, that doesn't make it right. it only makes it legal - that's all. homosexuality will always remain unnatural, deviant and twisted. if you want to live your life that way, go ahead but don't expect the rest of us to accept it as normal.

Something tells me the next time we hear from Mark it will be in relation to him getting caught in a situation ala Reverend Gary Aldridge...Google him will probably recognize yourself in him....

Newbee and entrenched delegates and senators who have voted to this bill be advised: come the next election cycle you won't get votes enough to hand out paper towels at the lavatory.

Do vote for this and divide the democratic base in this state so the republicans can finally have a foundation to build. The pendulum will swing back and swing swiftly come referendum.

Mark and the rest of the hateful bigots,

I wish you and all the other bigots well as you stampede from the state. It might surprise you to know that you won't be particularly missed. In terms of wealth, my gay family is doing pretty well, thanks for asking. You know, come to think of it, most of my friends in long term gay relationships are doing pretty well in the pocketbook,too. I'm sure you'll have no problem finding a nice , minimum wage job in some backward place like Kansas.

Bless your little hearts.....

As hateful as their words might be, I am glad that opponents of marriage equality are showing their true stripes here. For them, this debate is not about promoting the institution of heterosexual marriage or some other made-up abstraction -- they just don't like gay people, of whom they speak in the most disgusting and offensive terms.

Marriage equality is clearly a tough issue for a lot of people, but those in the middle who are struggling with it have a lot more in common with the pro-equality forces than they do with the anti-equality forces. It's one thing for someone who has never known any GLBT people to come to grips with government moving to accept them as full and productive members of society, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails -- it's another to sign on to the kind of language we are seeing here and elsewhere.

But by all means, keep the hate and bigotry coming. It brought Senator Brochin to our side and it will bring more people to our side in the future.

Boomer, one more thing: Marriage EQUALITY = 1 MAN and 1 WOMAN. There is NO equality with sameness.

Mark, exactly where do you derive that idea? It's certainly not scriptures view. The Bible seems to hold that Marriage is between 1 man and multiple women, not counting concubines. Paul, to look at the New Testament sees it as a lesser calling.

To go further, we have redefinedboth the term and the sin of "usury" (which meant up until about 400 years ago any lending or giving of money with the idea of collecting interest) into "investment."

When the Roman Catholic Church persecuted Christians in the 16-18oo's people travelled by boat, ocean ships, to live in the United States of America. State laws and church laws and religious beliefs were separated. People escaped persecution. Why should the heterosexual laws be persecuted by a minority that is inflamed in sexual desires.
HettoSEXUAL-PHOBIA HAS GOT THERE personals. The church rules, laws and regulations has got there gouty?

Why now gays ans lesbieans of the USA world do you think you can possess church laws as your own?

Church religious law of marriage, divorce do NOT BELONG TO YOUR minority group.

Law Makers:
A married man and and women. Created children. Everyone pays taxes. Schools, teachers, money, 3-4 bedroom houses, great buildings, churches are build. etc. Kings and queens, princess, prince. world that duplicates and multiples.
Two homosexual men living together is a ghost country yard ghost town. No new tax dollars.
Aids, Hiv, carry disease. death.
TWO women LIVING TOGETHER lesbians have a ghost town. No more new people are created to pay MARYLAND STATE TAXES. Both camps separated by a great wall.

Law makers will not be able stop my friends lesbian (niece)cousin and lesbian mother (aunt)for example from wanting to get married if the want to incest-ti -homosexual union?
Pillars of Salt and bad luck Maryland:
The judicial laws of the BIBLE OFR THOUSANDS OF YEARS should not be overturned by a self possessed minority.
- gays and lesbians you will never be able to get what the BILBES OFTHE WORLD ACKNOLOGES:
- no reproduction of other people
- leave our bible hetro-sexual kids alone
- no cleaving-
- never be able to see creator God of the universe in the same sex,
- a MAN LEAVE HIS PARENTS, cleaves to his WIFE
- NO APPLE BEARERS, no fruits from the tree of Eden,
- no children to till the land,
Homosexuals cannot produce a& multiple, taxes, food, houses, schools, churches, etc
- God is the Father,
Homosexuals do not create Father, mother, uncle, cousin, nephews, grandchildren
- law makers be where of the personal MADNESS IN the court family law, that you have to figure out. So no to same sex unions. No this law belongs to God.
GOD Brought WOMEN TO MAN. i see god in my man, in my uncle,& nephews. this minority are so selfish, some lesbians have to dress up like man, while being a women. When God united the original man to women they were naked. God is a man, God is a women in the unions. "Ready Have sex ASAP. No confusion.

H0HOMOSEXUAL can NEVER be ONE FLESH. creating clean new blood for blood banks, or organs hospitals around the globe. No again to marriage."
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

What they get:
salt, pillars of salt(see Sodom and Gomorrah map)
sin and shame
Can see never see GOD in the same sex. revenge and anger over the establish original of marriage
Sin, disease, mental illness over HETROSEXUALPHOBIA marriages
- Medical benefits
- Satan
-THEY CAN NEVER GET horoscope from anticquillity Greek god’s symbols to change, to suit their shit!
- they can NEVER get the animal to act sexually like them check Noah's ach.
homosexuals can NEVER PRODUCE, a trees of life. No to the thirst for wrong doing to change the laws.
Washington DC

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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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