FINAL VOTE: Marriage Equality Vote in Maryland House Today

A final vote on Maryland's marriage equality vote is set for the House of Delegates this morning and it's going to be very close. Debate begins at 11 am ET, the Baltimore Sun reports:

Maryland Supporters and opponents alike believe the 141-member House is nearly evenly divided. Del. Maggie McIntosh, the senior openly gay legislator, said this week that "a healthy handful" of delegates had yet to disclose their voting plans.

"History now rides on the hearts of several delegates," Sen. Jamie Raskin said Thursday night. The Montgomery County Democrat served as floor leader for the Senate debate. The bill, called the Civil Marriage Protection Act, passed that chamber last month on a 25-21 vote, and Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley has promised to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

Meanwhile, House Republicans — whose caucus took a position against the bill — have heralded the unexpected delays along the bill's road to passage as proof the votes are not there.

As noted last night, one delegate has offered a last-minute amendment which would strip specifics from protections offered religious groups. 


  1. Jeffrey in St. Louis says

    This doesn’t strike me as a “friendly” amendment, not the least of which because it would cause a bill with already flimsy support to be sent back to the Senate — a move that could ultimately kill it.

    The House needs to vote on the bill as it was received from the Senate, unamended, if there is any hope for it to survive and go to the governor.

    The prospects for its long-term survival are dubious at best because a drive is already underway to gather petitions for a referendum if the bill does get passed.

  2. Patric says

    “The House needs to vote on the bill as it was received from the Senate, unamended, if there is any hope for it to survive and go to the governor.”

    Presumably our leaders in the Maryland House can count votes and will only consider the amendment being offered by Del. Olszewski if they conclude that accepting it will mean the difference between passing this bill and failing. Moreover, our chief advocate in the Senate, Sen. Jamie Raskin, said yesterday of Olszewski’s proposed amendment that he believes the upper chamber “could play ball” if the amendment “forwards the two values of the bill — equal rights for all Maryland citizens and absolute religious freedom.”

    Makes no sense to block the amendment if a vote count shows that we’ll lose without it.

  3. Patric says

    Jeffrey, I don’t think anything in this situation is completely secure but, based on what’s just happened within the past hour, it seems evident that the votes were not there to pass an unamended bill, or perhaps any bill, today, so I don’t see how voting on an unamended bill would have advanced our interests.

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