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Same-sex marriage bill to return in 2012

ANNAPOLIS — With a vow of wait ‘til next year, supporters of same-sex marriage said they were disappointed but not discouraged by the failure of the historic legislation to win approval in the House of Delegates on Friday.

The reason for their optimism comes from the Senate, where — for the first time — a chamber of the Maryland General Assembly voted to permit gay and lesbian couples to lawfully wed.

If the House had followed suit, Gov. Martin O’Malley said, he would have signed the measure to make Maryland the sixth state in addition to Washington, D.C., to permit same sex-marriage.

Sen. Jamin B. “Jamie” Raskin, who led the fight for the marriage equality bill on the Senate floor, vowed to reintroduce the measure next year.

“It’s incredibly encouraging how far we’ve come,” said Raskin, D-Montgomery. “We had remarkable progress this year.”

Raskin added that the House was “heartbreakingly close” to the 71 votes needed for passage.

Echoing Raskin, Del. Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., D-Baltimore, said future generations “will look back on this day and say, ‘What was all the fuss about?’”

House leaders moved to return the bill to the Judiciary Committee after it became apparent there were not enough votes to pass it. House Speaker Michael Busch, D-Anne Arundel, said the measure will return next year.

It’s still unclear how many votes supporters had, though lawmakers said they had confirmed pledges from at least 69 members. Del. Heather Mizeur described the margin as “razor thin.”

“We’re a couple short of where we needed to be to assure that we were going to win and we didn’t want to post a vote on the board where we could have come up short,” said Mizeur, a Montgomery Democrat and one of seven openly gay lawmakers in the House.

“We’re going to keep working on our colleagues until we have those absolute commitments firm in hand and take it to the bank,” Mizeur said.

Busch said House leaders will use the time to craft a new bill that addresses issues lawmakers have about protections for religious groups. He estimates roughly one-third of the chamber’s 98 Democrats opposed the measure, but only about 10 lawmakers could probably be swayed one way or the other.

“As of next year people will have more information and determine what direction they want to take,” Busch said. “I think you’ll find a final conviction for everyone on that issue next year.”

Equally determined

Others, though, remain just as determined to ensure that Maryland does not permit gay and lesbian couples to lawfully wed. Many of the opponents — who expressed pleasant surprise at the bill’s defeat Friday — were already gearing up for a petition drive to bring the issue to Maryland voters via a referendum in November 2012, assuming that the bill would be passed and enacted.

“In the Maryland legislature, it’s not over until it’s over,” said Sen. E.J. Pipkin, an opponent of same-sex marriage. “Hopefully, this is done for a while.”

Reintroduction of same-sex marriage legislation in 2012 would also rekindle the blazing battle that erupted this session between lobbying groups on opposite sides of the issue.

Equality Maryland, a gay rights group that supports same-sex marriage, issued a statement within minutes of the House’s withdrawal of the legislation pointing toward 2012. The group pledged to increase the intensity of its telephone drives, letter-writing campaigns and meetings with legislators in support of the legislation.

“My heart goes out to the many Marylanders who — like me — will go home tonight to their families and continue to be treated as second-class citizens, but we must remind ourselves that this is just one battle in a longstanding struggle that we will win,” Morgan Meneses-Sheets, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. “The march toward marriage equality will continue, and our resolve and determination have never been stronger.”

But the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage efforts across the United States, said it “will continue the fight next year if [supporters] try again.”

“Kudos to those brave Maryland delegates who defied the arm-twisting and political pressures to do the right thing: listen to your constituents,” Brian Brown, the group’s president, said in a statement.

The Senate had approved the measure, Senate Bill 116, on a vote of 25 to 21 on Feb. 24.

In addition to Washington, D.C., same-sex marriages are legally performed in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Currently, Maryland recognizes as valid within the state same-sex marriages lawfully performed in other jurisdictions.

Maggie Clark and David Saleh Rauf of the Capital News Service contributed to this article.

14 comments

  1. Guess I’ll be re-evaluating my political contributions going forward. Shame on the reactionaries who voted no and shame on the politicians who capitalized on this issue for the sake of their own agendas. Let’s continue our race to the bottom by making it illegal again for races to intermarry and re-institutionalizing the mentally ill.

  2. Hold the two groom wedding cake, please…

  3. Gal:6:1

    Brothers and sister, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yurselves, or you also may be tempted.

    Gal 6:7
    Do not be deceived God cannot be mocked, A man reaps what he sows.

  4. How do we get a list on how everyone voted? I am so disgusted by how bigoted our state has proven itself to be today. Sad, sad day in Maryland.

  5. There is a GOD!!!!!

  6. @D.bos- there is a god indeed and she doesn’t discriminate..

  7. A funny thing happened on the way to historical inevitability…….

    I remember all this chatter about “we’ll be back next year” after we won Prop 8 in California.

    Stick a fork in it.

    Maryland’s done.

    Bravo to the brave people of Maryland who refused to drink the pseudo-marriage Kool- Aid.

    The elites who cynically sold the gay movement on the absurd notion that we the people would accept a redefinition of humanity’s oldest and most important institution are the ones that ought to be ashamed of themselves…..but since they have no conscience to begin with that is unlikely.

  8. Gays have the same rights as everyone else does… to marry people of the opposite sex… what they are asking for is special rights due to their unique sexual ACTIONS!

    Now, beware if we start going down hat” road of giving special groups extra rights for THEIR choice of actions (yes their CHOICE)… because then who is next demanding special rights? pedophiles, bigamists… who is next?

    Where do we separate what is correct and not, what is healthy and what is not, what is psychological sound and what is not… specially now that these Gender Identity Disorder sick people have lied and B.S. their way into conning many of you into seeing the as a benign life style, or “that they have no choices”… (Gender Identity Disorder the genesis of homosexuality in children, looking up)

    You see, the more we get away from what is normal and start embracing abnormality, the more society will be twisted and abnormal, plus you have just opened a can of worms…

    p.s. by the way, homosexuality and (for example) other things like race are not the same… there are plenty of ex-homosexuals, yes gays DO go back and become straight… but we ALL have yet to see a single African American being an ex-African American…

    They are NOT born that way… proof? Read on…!

    One Example of the psychology studies proving the genesis of homosexuality NOT being genetic is what is known in the psychological world as the recent large Twin Studies in Sweden and the Netherlands.

    The studies found that in identical twins, when one brother or sister is homosexual, ONLY about 10% of the other identical twin brother or sister is homosexual as well, which proves homosexuality NOT to be genetic, that homosexuals/gender identity disorder individuals are NOT born that way.

    If homosexuality had been genetic then in identical twins (who are 100% genetically identical) if one is a homosexual then LOGIC dictate that BOTH should have been 100% homosexual as well! But that is NOT the case… ONLY 10% of the time both are homosexuals! In the rest of the other 90% left, one is homosexual and the other one is NOT, and this shows that something AFTER their birth causes homosexuality to happen to one but not the other.

    And what is left after birth…? Their experiences during upbringing! What they need is a good psychologist to uncover the root of their Gender Identity Disorder, not more special rights!

    As for homosexuality not being in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual today, well the answer is simple. In 1973 Homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual after immense POLITICAL pressure by the liberals on the timid scientists and doctors, who were unprepared for fighting the liberal political machinery of the liberal 1970’s and even today. Many scientists and psychologists complained, including Ronald Bayer, PhD, who taught 14 years as Professor at the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at the Columbia University and wrote about this removal in his book “Homosexuality and American Psychiatry”:

    “Instead of being engaged in a sober consideration of
    data, psychiatrists were swept up in a political controversy. The
    American Psychiatric Association had fallen victim to the
    disorder of a tumultuous era, when disruptive conflicts
    threatened to politicize every aspect of American social life. A
    furious egalitarianism that challenged every instance of
    authority had compelled psychiatric experts to negotiate the
    pathological status of homosexuality with homosexuals
    themselves. The result was not a conclusion based on an
    approximation of the scientific truth as dictated by reason, but
    was instead an action demanded by the ideological temper of
    the times…”

    Enough said!

  9. I went to the hearings and listened carefully to both sides. The libs are “feelers” and the Conservatives are “thinkers.” The supporters are asking for a monumental change in a societal construct that marriage is between a man and a women, which is untenable. The most interesting part is when a bus full of SEIU “workers” arrived to show their “support”. When we asked which side they were supporting, they said “the gay marriage thing”. HMMMMMM

  10. Ha!
    They are only a couple of votes from victory, they say. Could that be a couple of votes in defeat? Why didn’t they take a vote? Because they knew they didn’t have the votes to pass the bill. Instead of taking the vote, they kept the Maryland bill alive…. (chicken).

    But same-sex marriage means sisters could then also get married – if it is about equality, then let’s give tax-write-offs to any two same-sex couples: two roommates of the same sex, uncle and nephew, nice and aunt, mentally retarded people who like sex, and the list can continue.

    It’s not about romance. It is about the government granting benefits and tax-deductions to those that are not optimal for engendering the next generation not only having babies, but taking care of them and educating them to NOT be a problem in general to the State, the government. People of homosxual behavior can’t procreate – they would have to procreate through a third person (always). But procreation is not enough to merit civil marriage benefits. Procreation within marriage is the optimum way, and the way supported by government and the law. We can go against the law, but is not the optimum way.

  11. I don’t think that same sex marriage laws will ever pass in maryland.

  12. Kudos to all and special thanks also to Del. Emmitt Burns (DEM) who stood, also as a Preacher, in Godly opposition to SSM legislative law. I’ve fought against it in Howard County since late-1980s & I knew they would try taking homosexual activities on to state approvals.

    Please read my published article link where I advocate, unlike anybody else, that ALL homosexual laws be challenged, reviewed, and repealed nationally, based on the initial illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional premises which have forced legislative and judicial fiats. Thank you!

    /s/ Rev. LED Dowell, Columbia, MD

  13. DEFEATED THIS TIME. WHEN ELECTION DAY ARRIVES REMEMBER THIS ISSUE AND THE PEOPLE WHO INTRODUCED AND VOTED IN FAVOR. MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT GET ELECTED. I SAY PUT THESE AND OTHER IN THE VOTING BOOTH FOR THE CITIZENS TO VOTE . THE NEEDS OF THE MANY OUTWEIGH THE NEEDS OF THE FEW OR ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. You’re right \There is a God\ … and she’s a lesbian … she’s very dissapointed.

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