Friday, March 11, 2011

Marriage Bill Back to Committee [Update: The Bill is Dead This Year]

I have been flipping between Anne Kaiser's Facebook updates and Maryland Politics Watch's live-blogging of the Maryland House of Delegates' debate of the marriage equality bill, and it appears to have run into a brick wall. MPW says "The bill was recommitted to the Judiciary Committee without a single nay vote."

It sounds like there were a few nuts, but mostly serious debate. A number of those who opposed same-sex marriage seemed to do so on religious grounds. Some said they would accept a civil union bill that grants the legal privileges of marriage to same-sex couples but would not agree to using the term "marriage" for those relationships.

Some delegates also testified that they felt torn between their own beliefs favoring marriage and what they thought their constituency wanted.

It was probably sent back to committee because the supporters of the bill were not sure they had the votes to pass it. It sounds like the debate was honest and heartfelt, and now the lay of the land is clear to all. Some Delegates are solidly in favor, some are on the line, and some are clearly and immovably opposed. The most important fracture seems to be between those who would approve civil unions and those who want to go all the way with marriage. Those two groups together would form a majority, at least that's how it looks peering at the House debate through the slits of a couple of Internet sites.

[Update: Delegate Anne Kaiser is saying on Facebook that "Marriage equality will NOT be the law of the land this year." She says they were a few votes shy, it sounds like it will not come up for a vote again this year. ]

[ Update 2: Salon says the bill will not come back for a vote. ]


Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Delegate Anne Kaiser is saying on Facebook that "Marriage equality will NOT be the law of the land this year."

Memo to Anne Fisher:

There is at present marriage equality, towit, one Man may marry one Woman.

At least for now the forces that would redefine marriage to mean something it has never meant (unless one reads and believes John Boswell or the two profs from McGill) have been stopped.

March 11, 2011 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's Anne Fisher?

March 11, 2011 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what's "towit"?

"towit - no dictionary results
Sponsored Results
No results found for towit:
Did you mean twit?"

March 11, 2011 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rand Paul Thinks His Towit Is More Important Than Your Abortion Rights

March 11, 2011 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's a shame

having it on a referendum would have energized conservatives in Maryland

maybe next year

March 11, 2011 5:52 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

What did I mean?

I failed to separate the TO from the WIT, that is.

And then one Anon posts the following URL,!5780942/rand-paul-thinks-his-toilet-is-more-important-than-your-abortion-rights

thinking that he/she is being clever as a segue into my use of TO WIT, and in the process finds this gem of a quote:

Yes, that's right, Paul supports overriding states' rights in favor of a federal solution to criminalize women's reproductive choices.

My response? Rand Paul can support such a change in the law but good luck getting my support. I simply want to see Roe v, Wade over-turned and the issue returned to the States where it has always belonged.

March 11, 2011 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a great week!

gay "marriage" loses in Maryland

NPR is exposed as liberal advocates and sure to be stripped of Federal funds

Obama's approval rating among independents drops to the thirties

Wisconsin is freed from the tyranny of corrupt public employee unions

a dream week in the post-Obama era

March 12, 2011 7:36 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Don't forget this news from this "great week."

Congressional Approval Drops Below 20 Percent, Poll Finds

"Americans' approval of the job Congress is doing is on the decline again, hitting 18 percent this month after inching above the 20 percent mark in February, according to a new poll out Friday.

The Gallup survey found that Congress' approval rating is "essentially back to where it was just after last November's midterm elections."

Following a historical trend, voters' approval bumped up slightly when the new Congress took office in January, giving the GOP control of the House. Americans generally feel better about their representatives on Capitol Hill immediately following power shifts. But this year it didn't last.

Friday's approval (or disapproval) numbers fall evenly along party lines, with just 20 percent of both Republicans and Democrats giving thumbs up to Congress, according to Gallup. Fifteen percent of independents approve."

Sarah Palin's Popularity Slips to 60% Disapproval Rate in Poll

"Sarah Palin, perhaps the most closely watched of all potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, is viewed in an unfavorable light by 60 percent of those questioned in a new Bloomberg News poll.

Palin's numbers suggest she would face a challenge in attracting voters beyond her conservative base if she decides to run for president next year. Bloomberg's survey of 1,001 adults was taken between March 4-7 by the Iowa firm, Selzer & Co. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Within the 60 percent who disapproved of Palin, 38 percent said they had "very unfavorable" feelings about her. She was viewed favorably by 28 percent, with only 4 percent not sure how they felt. A December Bloomberg poll had Palin's unfavorable rating at 57 percent.

But the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee isn't holding back. On Thursday night, Palin told Fox News she thought union bosses were "acting like thugs" in their fight against a bill in Wisconsin taking away public employees' collective bargaining rights. Labor leaders should "turn down the rhetoric and start getting truth out there so nobody gets hurt," she said.

There was good news for President Obama in the Bloomberg poll: 45 percent said he had a "better vision" for the nation's economic future than the Republican opposition. One-third (33 percent) of the sample preferred the GOP approach, and 22 percent didn't like either or weren't sure."

March 12, 2011 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is great news!!

Obama should just relax and take it easy

it's working for him so far


March 12, 2011 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Alas for Maryland.

March 13, 2011 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know the thing is, Robert, that even if a sizable portion of the electorate doesn't object to redefining marriage to shut up gays

and even if it becomes a majority someday

it's only a grudging thing

there is never going to be widespread clamor for such a thing

but there will always be those who will vociferously defend God's design for marriage

and politicians will have to decide who they should accomodate

I think you'll find politicians who survive will be those who side with the passionate

you should move on

you'll never win

and, truly, most gays don't want to be "married"

they just don't want anyone to be allowed to consider heterosexual relationships to be qualitatively superior to homosexuals relationships

first step is to make sure there is not a seperate term for long-term committed exclusive heterosexual couples

it's really a totalitarian tactic

and, it's not going to happen


March 13, 2011 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"first step is to make sure there is not a seperate term for long-term committed exclusive heterosexual couples".

A seperate term for "committed exclusive heterosexual" couples wouldn't be such a bad idea. How else would we be able to describe the less-than-majority of so-called "committed heterosexual couples"?

Time now to focus on the abysmal failure rate of those relationships. Clean up the mess in your own home before you inject yourself into the personal lives of people you simply do no like.

Save Our Families!!

"having it on a referendum would have energized conservatives in Maryland" Of course it would have energized "conservatives" in Maryland.

It would be in keeping with the long-cherished belief that the rights of others should always be subject to the whims of people who simply cannot accept other people who are different from them. Civil Rights, after all, are always subject to public vote. That is how our black citizens and women were able to achieve the rights due to them as citizens of the United States....right?

March 14, 2011 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Problem with your theory is...being gay is not equivalent to being black or being a woman or a man.

Big problem with the theory, actually and everyone knows it.

March 14, 2011 10:38 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...


No one choose to be black and no one chooses to be a woman.

Likewise, no one chooses to be gay.

(I suspect Anon will counter that transgenders seek to choose their sexual orientation. The answer to that is that in those circumstances, a person's sense of themselves is contrary to their anatomy. This is, for some people, a very real problem, which may be remedied by transitioning.)

As for the larger issue, the fact appears to be that the Civil Marriage Protection Act did not pass because several members of the House who are in favor of equal rights for gay people were concerned that about the responses they received from many of their constituents who do not, apparently, have that understanding.

Most people have good hearts, and, at the end of the day, do not let dogma or theology get in the way of common sense caring. But the day is not over. Straight people have nothing to fear from allowing gay people to have equal rights. No one is "turned gay" by legitimatizing gay people. But most people have not had the occasion to learn about the realities in this area. So the discussions will continue.

March 14, 2011 11:43 AM  

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