Gay Marriage | Maryland | News

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. While I won't stoop to scapegoating black people for this, I'm getting tired of the whole "I'm against same-sex marriage, and I'm offended when you try to compare gay rights to civil rights" thing.

    In regards to that, I would submit that my Native American step-father finds it pretty offensive that a lot of black people seem to think they have some sort of trademark on "civil rights," as though they're the only minority to have ever been oppressed and to fight back against that oppression.

    Not only that, but it's worth bearing in mind that Bayard Rustin was gay, Angela Davis is a lesbian and Huey Newton, Coretta Scott King and Julian Bond were/are longtime supporters of GLBT rights.

    Posted by: AJD | Mar 11, 2011 4:19:20 PM

  2. @AJD

    Actually, I agree with all of your points.

    But that's a rant that 1) would not be for the faint of heart and 2) not for a towleroad comment section.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Mar 11, 2011 4:34:20 PM

  3. We're too busy trying to make people like us when it's FEAR that they respond to. Legislators will only vote for our rights when they fear US more than they do the people who hate us.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Mar 11, 2011 4:39:32 PM

  4. Here's what the problem is that no one is addressing, either by choice or by ignorance...

    The gay community is a rather weak one. How many gay profiles do you read on connexion,, or other gay social networking sites where a majority of men state:
    "Not out AT ALL!"
    "My sexuality is reserved for my bedroom, I don't like to talk about it, flaunt it"
    "I'm a Conservative Christian with morals who happens to be gay. Gay marriage isn't that important to me."

    There's a sea of above commentary made BY gay men FOR gay men...and then we wonder why gay rights legislation is not taken seriously? Well, for starters, it requires gay people to take themselves seriously. To take the shame out of being gay. To realize no self respecting straight person hides or is timid of being straight.

    There's so many gay folks who are simply out for themselves and don't care at all about the larger picture, and have internalized homophobia beat to them by their family that has stuck with them; first we are in need of changing GAY minds to be more accepting of gay, before we seek heteros to "get it"

    There's so many divisive anti gay voices within the gay community that it's not startling to see our civil rights stalled like this. We need to encourage a sense of unity and community within our LGBT and right then we will see incredible success and shift in minds. That requires each of us to do our part and be open and honest about who we are, while encouraging other LGBT to do the same.

    Posted by: Mark | Mar 11, 2011 4:42:30 PM

  5. "Not only that, but it's worth bearing in mind that Bayard Rustin was gay, Angela Davis is a lesbian and Huey Newton, Coretta Scott King and Julian Bond were/are longtime supporters of GLBT rights"

    All the more reason for you and other White Gays to understand how offensive it is to Black Gays when you insult us.

    White Gays are going have to find language to criticize Black homophobes that does not insult Black folks in general. If you can't then you make me choose this: when I'm around homophobic Blacks--I am Gay first and Black second. When I'm around racist White Gays then I must be Black first and Gay second. I've got to protect myself.

    I intend to protect myself from anti-Gay Black bigots and racist White Gay bigots.

    "In regards to that, I would submit that my Native American step-father finds it pretty offensive that a lot of black people seem to think they have some sort of trademark on "civil rights," as though they're the only minority to have ever been oppressed and to fight back against that oppression"

    He WOULD have that attitude if those kind of narrow-minded Black people were the only ones that seemed to get his attention--the only ones he ever seems to notice.

    Did you ever tell your step-daddy about Bayard Rustin, Angela Davis, Huey Newton, Coretta Scott King and Julian Bond? Hunh? And you might throw in Bishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela as a grand finale.

    I'll protect myself from Native American bigots too.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 11, 2011 4:43:34 PM

  6. ""Great day for marriage"

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

    But they're not evil.... they're RIGHTEOUS!

    Only truly unenlightened folk like the ilk over at NOM look at their evil and despicable actions and claim them to be right.

    Sadly, this fight will never end until we got a solid SCOTUS ruling that

    1.) Determines gay and lesbian men are a suspect class.
    2.) Rule DOMA completely unconstitutional.

    A trial like that, unfortunately, is years in the making.

    Posted by: RJ | Mar 11, 2011 4:47:53 PM

  7. Mark, I right clicked and saved your words. I find them to be profound and poignant. That lack of passion and "meh" right within our own community is what I long contributed to the lack of rights we experience.
    Imagine if every gay person could accept themselves, love themselves, be honest with who they were, and then just half- or ideally all- of those same said people could actively be involved in the very worthy cause of equality. Great or small, little or large, if each gay person volunteered, or wrote a letter to a politician, or joined a campaign, or started a petition, or spoke to gay youth programs, or spoke to their own loved ones, and spoke from the heart what it means to be gay and what it means to feel like everyone's equal, I assure you all, we would have not only had overwhelming majority of support but experienced full equality by now.
    I too feel the end result of gay rights boils down to gays, and those who are closeted or speak ill of being gay are sadly the biggest road block to success.

    Posted by: SteveATL | Mar 11, 2011 4:49:08 PM

  8. I echo both Mark and SteveATL's points.

    Also want to add, for those critical of gay rights orginizations who are commenting what would be a more effective approach, you basically set yourself up to get asked this question but....what have YOU done for gay rights? Other than anonymousley comment on a forum about it, have you joined an alliance or orginization? donated your efforts or time? I certainly do, and have very limited resources and am hardly living a priviliged life, yet the gay orginizations I called were more than willing to take me and my ideas in with open arms. They could use it, they need it, so instead of sitting back and waiting for others to do the work for you all while you look at your watch, why don't you be a grown ass adult and lift your weight?
    Too many damn people expect others to do everything for them. In this particular case (equal rights) if really is going to take the efforts of every single gay person. As another poster said above, they don't respect us until they fear us and they fear the NOMs of the world because those people are galvanized and they all join forces. Unlike gay people who sit back and expect this pro gay group or that pro gay group to do all the work for them.

    Posted by: IonMusic | Mar 11, 2011 5:07:10 PM

  9. I agree Mark and Steve, the lack of passion and the lack of priorities in the gay community is startling. Things like this make me so hurt and angry, but a large portion of LBGTs seem more concerned with fitting in, being "accepted" by society, or being popular in the social scene. All of which is due to internalized homophobia and a need of approval. Which is why I don't think it's our fault we see things like this happen. First of all, we've made major progress. Less than 10 years ago, a majority of people thought homosexuality should be illegal in the US. We have a wide majority of support in the under 18 and 18-32 crowd. Also, the self-hating crowd, ultimately help overall LGBT support, because people look at them and realize "wow, anti-gays are hypocrites and these people are sad". In fact, that has been proven by studies. We need to get louder and be tougher, but ultimately, it's the straights who love us and support us who are going to create the widespread change. They are the ones who will have the gay friends, who will then become friends with other straights, and it creates a chain of people who befriend and accept one another with increased visibility and without sexuality being an issue.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 11, 2011 5:15:17 PM

  10. These threads are so predictable.

    1. Some white gays with racial issues wrongly use blacks as scapegoats.

    2. The black defenders act like homophobia in the black community is the fault of white gays.

    1 and 2, back and forth, repeat, repeat, repeat.

    Posted by: EvilIdiots | Mar 11, 2011 5:38:29 PM

  11. Derrick from Philly wrote: "White Gays are going have to find language to criticize Black homophobes that does not insult Black folks in general."

    Derrick, I think I can propose something that would be a winning argument with Black homophobes, but wouldn't work at all with White homophobes, and it's a practical argument, not a moral one. What homophobes in general are ignoring are rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, and they want to suppress those constitutional rights because they can get a voting majority behind the effort. If you accept that principle, there are no potentially dangerous consequences for White homophobes because they're sure that no voting majority would ever suppress their constitutional rights.

    However, it would be EVER SO DANGEROUS for their own constituency if ministers of Black churches suggested this. The reasons should be obvious. During the 2008 election, virulent White opponents of Obama wallowed in graphic racist insults and physical threats aimed at Obama. If the White Christian fundamentalists who hate Obama can successfully suppress constitutional rights for LGBT people, why would they stop there, seeing as how deeply racist they are? Do Black homophobes think that the White fundamentalist/Tea Party gang won't try to suppress the rights of African-Americans? Believe me, there are all sorts of ways to do this--laws can be selectively enforced and manipulated in all kinds of racist ways.

    Therefore…it is simply not realistic for Black homophobes to wish for a country where constitutional rights are suppressed by the changing whims of the majority. The fundies and the Tea Partiers are not going to stop at LGBT rights just because African-Americans say "pretty please". They DO NOT LIKE BLACK PEOPLE. I think this argument would resonate with Black homophobes. I'm just sorry that it wouldn't be as effective with White homophobes.

    Posted by: Phil | Mar 11, 2011 5:43:48 PM

  12. As an African-American, I am definitely not saying that most anti-gay marriage voters are Black in Maryland. In fact, outside of the urban/suburban corridor between DC and Baltimore,there are few non-Whites,and the large majority of people in those regions are White. While Maryland has a reputation of being a liberal Democratic state, it is not that socially liberal. Democrats win begin of a coalition of social progressives in places like Montgomery County, socially conservative yet fiscally liberal Blacks in PG County and Baltimore, government workers, and Hispanics. Only socially progressive suburbanites are likely to support same-sex marriage in Maryland. Also, Blacks in Maryland generally are much more socially and religiously conservative than their counterparts in Pacific and Northern states. There are some huge megachurches in PG that can galvanize scores of thousands of voters in a heartbeat, and this fact was not lost on PG, Howard, Anne Arundel, and Charles county politicians. This issue splits the Democratic coalition and reflects the fact that only some Maryland Democrats are social progressives. Still, without the Democratic coalition in the suburban/urban corridor, Maryland would be a deep red state.

    Posted by: Javier | Mar 11, 2011 6:00:51 PM

  13. 2. The black defenders act like homophobia in the black community is the fault of white gays.

    No we don't. Or at least I don't.

    We understand quite well that, by and large, the churches are the political and even social centers of our communities and there's reasons why that is the case.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Mar 11, 2011 7:25:18 PM

  14. "Had a vote been taken Friday, it would have come within a delegate or two of passage, House leaders said. Advocates believe they were a single vote shy.",0,7184782.story

    In the Judiciary committee, there were 3 Democrats that voted against marriage equality.

    2 of those Democrats were white.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Mar 11, 2011 7:28:53 PM

  15. We have every right to be enraged by this, when your own country continuous to segregate us and make our lives harder than everyone else's. I'm furious. How to capture that and use it appropriately, though?

    I'm not going to keep *asking* for equality. We have to claim it.

    Posted by: X | Mar 11, 2011 7:38:20 PM

  16. So, the only response should be this - question/fight/legally stop EVERY MARRIAGE IN MARYLAND. They want marriage to be between "a man and a woman," fine. What we need is a lawyer with gonads who will fight the issuance of any marriage license that does not meet that definition. Seeing as there is no test for gender required when breeders get licenses, there are no valid marriage licenses. Stop breeder marriage if equality is not recognized.

    Posted by: CPT_Doom | Mar 11, 2011 8:39:13 PM

  17. I really have to wonder if Javier is African American. I mean I'm reading all this pontification about MD's poltical climate, but no data. Unless you have data backing up your "analysis," you should probably stop.

    Three other things.

    One, Washington, D.C. has gay marriage. The African American representatives of African American voters in a majority African American city made that possible.

    Two: let's not forget that the lilly-white state of Maine also rejected gay marriage in about the same percentages as California.

    Three: it sounds like the votes weren't there to start. Seems to me that was error #1. But, there will be a next time and I just hope the folks spearheading this have learned something.

    Posted by: BMF | Mar 11, 2011 9:29:12 PM

  18. @BMF

    Thank you for mentioning the racial makeup of Washington, D.C. (a marriage-equality success) and Maine (a marriage-equality failure). Your point is very well taken.

    Posted by: Phil | Mar 11, 2011 10:07:02 PM

  19. This should have gone to a vote, even if it was destined to fail. Now everyone can claim they took every position, because they aren't on record.

    This is being interpreted as a fail anyway. So let it be official. Maryland LGBT organizations need to make a stink about this. They must vote.

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 12, 2011 1:03:48 AM

  20. Wonderful. Liberals are degenerate rats.

    Posted by: ron | Mar 12, 2011 3:34:55 AM

  21. Prince George County, Maryland is almost entirely black.

    Posted by: von lmo | Mar 12, 2011 4:27:45 AM

  22. Seriously folks, the time has come for gay men and women to go on Strike..... MAJOR STRIKE -Starting with not serving on jury duty and refusing to be part of mainstream society. I do not have all the answers but it seems to me that organizing a national boycott of just about everything possible is in order. We will not take this second class citizen crap anymore!

    Posted by: Max F. Grump | Mar 12, 2011 12:00:28 PM

  23. I think the whole failure was planned from the beginning. It breezed through the Senate, went through Committee quickly and then failed to come to a vote to get the Representatives on record? (Not even 10 minutes after it was sent back to committee did I receive a donation request from Maryland Equality/HRC saying we need money so we can win next time.) This way, every Rep. won, they can go back home and say how hard they fought, other legislation more important to them gets passed. Every one is a winner except the gays.

    Posted by: Donald | Mar 13, 2011 11:13:43 AM

  24. Look, the reason people are harping on black people is because they are Democratic voters who are anti-gay. No one likes people in their own party denying them their rights. In addition, right or wrong most white people think black people should know better because black people have and still are systematically discriminated against and thus should be able to spot and fight against discrimination wherever it exists. Instead a disproportionate number of black people actively support gay discrimination. So there's your reasoning why people are up in arms about black people as a voting bloc more than white republicans.

    Posted by: KD | Mar 13, 2011 3:55:57 PM

  25. "So there's your reasoning why people are up in arms about black people as a voting bloc more than white republicans."

    Or, they are just racist. You shouldn't expect blacks just to fall behind gays because they are discriminated against based on sexuality. Sexuality, although not a choice, can be hidden for the most part. That isn't usually true of race.

    If gays want to make inroads into the black community, they should try harder in building bridges and having some dialogue about this instead of demonizing a race of people.

    A heterosexual Black person for Gay rights.

    Posted by: Will | Mar 13, 2011 7:33:59 PM

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