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BREAKING: Maryland Marriage Equality Bill Killed for This Year, Returned to Committee


The Maryland House has postponed a vote on marriage equality, sending the bill back to committee after several hours of debate, perhaps because supporters didn't feel it had the votes to pass. 

The Washington Post reported the bill dead for this year.

The Baltimore Sun:

Instead of voting on same-sex marriage on Friday, the House of Delegates has moved the bill backward -- returning it to the committee that nearly killed it last week.

The high-stakes move saved the chamber's 141 members from having to declare a position on the divisive issue.

It's unclear what will happen next. The Senate signed off on the plan last month, but it has faced a rocky road in the House.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and other foes of equality have been threatening lawmakers over the vote in recent days.

NOM's Brian Brown tweeted after the House's actions that it was a "great day for marriage."


So disappointing.

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  1. Typical.

    And by "typical" I mean "spineless".

    Posted by: Brian | Mar 11, 2011 2:22:03 PM

  2. Which is worse, homophobia bigots or craven cowards?

    Posted by: K in VA | Mar 11, 2011 2:28:35 PM

  3. Unfortunate, I feel horrible for the same-sex couples in Maryland being slung through the mud like a football by these legislators. However, none of this is surprising. We've seen this time in, time out. Even with a majority of Maryland citizens supporting equality, most politicians simply will not do anything when it comes towards our rights. Especially since 2012 is right around the corner. It's upsetting, but we need to hold these people accountable for their actions, and not rely on them for anything. It's gonna be the courts where we get what we require.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 11, 2011 2:34:06 PM

  4. Bloody cowards. And I hope Miss Brian goes and DIAF.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Mar 11, 2011 2:34:47 PM

  5. Equality Maryland was completely unprepared for the House of Delegates. You could feel the slight tremors of disorganization and discord during the entire House debate that differed substantially from weeks when it was going through the Senate. EQMD and the media kept perpetuating a message that passage in the House was all but assured and we need just focus on the Senate.

    The delegates they got early commitments from were wholly unprepared for the opposition and got run over. "Standing on the side of love" is a cute slogan and all but that does little to appeal to undecideds.

    Once the bill started moving and there was opposition, it was like they didn't know what to do. But that didn't stop them from having two "celebrations" for marriage equality [read: fundraisers] during the past few weekends.

    Totally disappointed.

    Posted by: acamd | Mar 11, 2011 2:39:53 PM

  6. It would have been voided/suspended this year, and undone by voters next year even if the House voted for it. Those pushing for the MD Assembly to vote for this right now are merely asking for the voters to undo gay marriage in yet another state. We know that pivotal Prince George's County voters are against same-sex marriage, as reflected by the majority of Democratic legislators there who are against same-sex marriage. PG COunty has over 800,000 people, and is critical to winning any election/vote. PG County is home to a very large and organized religious conservative community and is filled with outspoken megachurches and religious conservatives. Montgomery County is probably the only jurisdiction where gay marriage would win with voters, but it doesnt have any votes to overwhelm the rest of the state's anti-gay vote. Baltimore City and Baltimore County would have voted against gay marriage for sure. At least we will be spared the supreme embarrassment of seeing yet another state's voters veto gay marriage.

    Posted by: Javier | Mar 11, 2011 2:42:47 PM

  7. "Great day for marriage"

    Wow. How evil do you have to be to gloat over this?

    Posted by: EvilIdiots | Mar 11, 2011 2:44:09 PM

  8. "Equality Maryland was completely unprepared for the House of Delegates."

    They seem to take everything for granted.

    I'm on their mailing list, and they acted as if everything were guaranteed. I keep reading "when we pass marriage equality in 2011." Not IF, but WHEN - the height of arrogance.

    I'm so sick of these feckless activist groups on our side taking things for granted.

    Posted by: OBD | Mar 11, 2011 2:44:26 PM

  9. So much hate toward gay people. SO SAD.
    We must demand our civil rights from all political parties and HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.

    Posted by: steve | Mar 11, 2011 2:46:04 PM

  10. Even the best, polls show that perhaps an anemic 51 or 52 percent of Marylanders SAY they support same-sex marriage, but polls have shown similar numbers in other states, but on election day, the anti-gay vote has prevailed every single time. Polling consistently significantly underestimates the antigay vote and overestimates the progay vote, without exception. Maryland is not the exception to every other state that has voted on the issue. Moreover, as an African-American, I can assure you that the large religious African-American population in MD would present a formidable problem to upholding the law with voters. I have not seen the gay community do the type of extensive, ongoing outreach to Blacks and religious people that is necessary before we even think about withstanding a ballot initiative.

    Posted by: Javier | Mar 11, 2011 2:54:12 PM

  11. Perhaps all of the blacks that vote against equality could have their rights voted on again next? Just because you had to fight for your rights once before doesn't give you the privilege to keep someone else from having theirs. Disgusting.

    Posted by: really? | Mar 11, 2011 3:04:47 PM

  12. So deeply, deeply disappointing. But we’ll keep fighting --and winning. Just not quite yet in Maryland.

    Posted by: ichabod | Mar 11, 2011 3:06:04 PM

  13. "In the end what we will remember is not be the hateful words and deeds of our enemies but the silence (and spinelessness) of our friends." MLK Jr. (adapted)

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Mar 11, 2011 3:07:14 PM

  14. It's because of the majority of ignorant blacks...

    Posted by: marylandguy | Mar 11, 2011 3:08:20 PM

  15. Really?, as someone who is mixed I can pretty much tell you what the deal is. Most people in the black community, even many gays, pretty much see it as an insult that our fight for equality is seen as a civil rights fight. So, they harbor some resentment towards us for that reason, in their eyes, we just aren't equals to them. Then, you have the religious factor, and the fact most of the black community is conservative. However, it's not just the black community who have created this situation, and that needs to be stated before they take all the blame, however PG county or Baltimore, the overall structure of the culture tilts anti-gay.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 11, 2011 3:10:41 PM

  16. Again, the black community are not solely to blame for this situation. And not all black people are anti-gay. The problem is people putting morality over legality. It's gonna be some of the court cases in the system that will be our big break, it's not going to be legislators.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 11, 2011 3:14:07 PM

  17. As others have said, the problem is not blacks, it's Christian fundamentalists and religious conservatives. Any outreach from here on out needs to start and end with those communities, as tough as the conversations may be.

    Posted by: jersey | Mar 11, 2011 3:24:45 PM

  18. Javier, it's not that the polls overestimate the gay vote. It's that the gay vote doesn't vote. Most of our supporters are people under 18, and 18-32. In Maryland, like 70% of people in that age range support marriage equality, but it's in the 30s in other groups. The average voter tends to be middle aged/older, religious and white, and when it comes to these anti-gay initiatives, the black community tends to vote in strong numbers also. Our issues stem from what Jersey has said, the God factor. It's the God factor that drives these bigots to be stronger than our supporters in supporting our rights, even stronger than many gays. It's the God factor that leads these politicians to vote against us. It's like an elephant in the room, people don't want to get real and outspoken about the issue at hand here. Religious bigots are the problem, and they need to be called out for their hate.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 11, 2011 3:31:44 PM

  19. "It's because of the majority of ignorant blacks..."

    Absolutely, because the majority of enlightened White Republicans would make sure marriage equality for Gays becomes a reality, wouldn't they?

    "Perhaps all of the blacks that vote against equality could have their rights voted on again next? Just because you had to fight for your rights once before doesn't give you the privilege to keep someone else from having theirs. Disgusting"

    Actually, the people & legislature of Maryland would never have voted to give Blacks their civil rights. Maryland was a segregationist state for many decades.

    How the hell did this discussion go here? I thought the Lt. Governor and the Black delegates to the Maryland legislature were for this marriage equality bill. Are y'all cursing them also? Of course, the Black church folks were going to give you opposition--just like the White church folks would.

    Just like the day after Proposition 8, the White Gays who hate Blacks anyway use these moments to vent their (already present) hatred. Well, we can hate back.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 11, 2011 3:40:23 PM

  20. While it's disappointing, it's probably best that this was kept away from the animus of the voters in 2012. Let's focus on states where people's rights can't be subjected to a referendum this year...NY and RI.

    Posted by: Bruno | Mar 11, 2011 3:43:46 PM

  21. I'm sick of people not calling out the "traditional marriage" bullshitters. You want to protect traditional marriage and biblical values? Fine. "Traditional" marriage involved a contract between a man and a young girl's father. It was an exchange of property, a dowry, and placing the girl, often against her will, into the servitude of a man who then also gave her the burden of providing him children. I'd love to see how long these "traditional marriage" people would tolerate that scenario.

    Posted by: EO | Mar 11, 2011 3:47:55 PM

  22. EO, focusing on that kind of thing is good primal scream therapy but it's not good politics. Our leaders will need to work from the ground up and build relationships with many of those "traditional marriage" people who are not with us right now. Mocking them will not make them see the light.

    Posted by: jersey | Mar 11, 2011 3:54:55 PM

  23. This is the kind of hate (black versus gay) that the religious right and republicans depend on in order to keep minority communties in tow.
    We do not need to compare who has had a tougher battle on civil rights WE JUST NEED TO SUPPORT CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL!

    Posted by: steve | Mar 11, 2011 4:10:28 PM

  24. I remember when seeing the breakdown of the vote on Prop 8, I was pissed at the blacks. The racial breakdown was stark:

    Posted by: Droc | Mar 11, 2011 4:13:58 PM

  25. Thank you Derrick from Philly, I really didn't feel like sorting through all of the racist asshattery.

    I don't know, I kind of figure that it's better that the bill dies now than to go through the refendum process, especially as it seems as of white gays have learned nothing from the very different approaches taken with minority communitites in California and Wahington DC.

    But...hell, the white gays can't even get all the WHITE GAYS (like Sen. Carl Kruger) to vote for marriage equality

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Mar 11, 2011 4:17:34 PM

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