Maryland Marriage Equality Bill Expected To See Quick Action In State Senate; House Support Still In Question
WASHINGTON -- Expect Maryland senators to approve marriage equality legislation in a hurry. As The Washington Post's John Wagner reported Thursday, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert County) "wants his chamber to act quickly on a same-sex marriage bill" during the 90-day legislative session, which began this week.
Miller, however, reiterated his opposition to gay marriage during a radio interview this week, calling it "an attack on traditional families."
But the Senate president said he would not obstruct the measure and predicted it would pass.
In 2011, the bill passed the Senate on a 25-21 vote, but failed to get approval in the House when it was sent back to committee.
Will the House repeat what happened last year?
Baltimore magazine revisited the course of action that stymied the bill. In an interview with openly gay Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery County), the magazine noted how the once strong Democratic coalition that had been expected to pass the bill without too much heavy lifting, started to splinter: "Each passing Sunday, many local pastors spent entire services devoted to preaching against marriage equality and any politician willing to support it, and, each week, we'd get a couple people who lost their courage," she told the magazine.
Pressure from the religious community to reject the measure has remained, but this year, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has been a more active player to ensure the bill gets passed. Supporters of the bill are better organized, too.
But as the Washington Blade points out, House Speaker Michael Busch (D-Anne Arundel County) has said about 10 members of his chamber still need to be persuaded.Gov. Martin O'Malley Speaks About His Support For Marriage Equality