Sunday, January 23, 2011

Maryland May Consider Marriage Equality

Maybe this will be the year for it. From The Post:
The majority leaders in both the Maryland House and Senate are acting as lead sponsors of bills this session allowing same-sex marriage, a symbolic move meant to underscore the momentum behind the legislation.

A bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Garagiola (D-Montgomery) was introduced Friday.

Garagiola's lead role "shows the very strong support there is within the body, and the Democratic caucus in particular," said Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), an openly gay lawmaker who has served as lead sponsor of similar bills in previous years.

Madaleno is among 17 senators who are co-sponsoring the bill with Garagiola this year.

Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery), chairman of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, said he expects his panel to hold a hearing on the bill within the next two to three weeks.

Frosh said he believes there are sufficient votes on the 11-member committee to send the bill to the Senate floor, where he called prospects for passage "a source of great speculation."

House Majority Leader Kumar P. Barve (D-Montgomery) is planning to introduce similar legislation in his chamber.

Barve said that neither he nor Garagiola is sponsoring the legislation as part of their leadership positions and that all members are free to vote their conscience on the issue.

Barve said the Senate is likely to act first on the issue. Md. majority leaders sponsoring same-sex marriage bills

Brian Frosh has blocked marriage equality and gender-identity nondiscrimination bills consistently in the past. It sounds like there may be too much of a tidal swell now for him to hold it back.


Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

It's about time Frosh has decided to co-sponsor this legislation after so many years of refusing to do so. HIs lack of leadership on this issue has been appalling and I'm heartened that he has finally come to recognize that every Marylander deserves the right to marry the person they love.

January 24, 2011 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

From Senator Madeleno's most recent newsletter:

"Marriage Equality

While Congress finally found the political courage to end the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, we are continuing the fight to bring full equality for gays and lesbians in Maryland. I’m happy to tell you that the Majority Leaders in both the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates will serve as the lead sponsors for the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. This symbolic action shows that Maryland’s leaders are ready to provide same gender couples with the freedom to marry. Additionally, every legislator from Montgomery County, including my District 18 colleagues Delegates Al Carr, Ana Sol Gutierrez, and Jeff Waldstreicher, have signed on as sponsors.

Working with Judicial Proceedings Chairman Brian Frosh, Majority Leader Rob Garagiola, and my strong ally Senator Jamie Raskin, I will do everything I can to move this bill through the committee process and find the votes on the Senate floor. However, this effort will not succeed without your active support. Please call or e-mail your friends and family around the state and encourage them to contact their State Senator and Delegates to urge them to vote for Marriage Equality this year. If you live outside District 18, make sure you contact your legislators as well."

January 24, 2011 8:06 AM  

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