Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Same Sex Marriage in Maryland
March 4, 2011 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Last week, the Maryland Senate approved legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage. A half-hour ago, after a whole lot of drama, the bill was passed by the House Judiciary Committee.
posted by amarynth (43 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Every so often - and not very often, lately - I am proud to be a Marylander. Today is one of those days.
posted by ryanshepard at 11:45 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm getting invalid URLs for your WaPo links ("lot" and "drama").

Otherwise: This is me, crossing my fingers!
posted by rtha at 11:45 AM on March 4, 2011


Hmm, and the "Last week" link is borked for me as well. Anyone else?
posted by rtha at 11:45 AM on March 4, 2011


Kima Greggs is watching this with interest!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:46 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Kima is? I mean, yeah, on a political level, sure, but she doesn't seem like the marrying kind. I guess things were getting better at the end there...

What am I talking about? This is good news in the real world. The one I seem to be living in, nominally.
posted by theefixedstars at 11:51 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dang, I thought the Senate vote was the major hurdle in Maryland. Didn't realize the House could be trouble too. But hey, it passed this round, at least.

Somewhat related links I'd been saving up for an FPP:

Iowa grandmother speaks in favor of gay marriage

Mormon reuploads video supporting gay marriage after previously taking it down under church pressure (story here, originally posted 2 years ago)
posted by kmz at 11:52 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fascinating. Drama aside, I wish our Wisconsin legislators would have sat down and given the amount of thought to their various crazy-making bills that Tiffany Alston (whose final vote I don't agree with) gave to her own beliefs and those of her constituents.
posted by Madamina at 11:56 AM on March 4, 2011


SING A LONG
posted by The Whelk at 11:56 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good job, legislative peeps. (I'd gotten letters back from mine last week saying they were going to pass this so I guess I need to write the thank you notes now.)
posted by sperose at 12:00 PM on March 4, 2011


Yes! Good news.

Holy shit:
Which bring us to Delegate Sam Arora, a freshman from the upscale D.C. suburbs who was, until a few days ago, a top prospect for Democratic grooming. He was an aide to the Democratic National Committee and then to Sen. Hillary Clinton for three years. He was considered "beautiful" among his peers on the Hill, which should be taken with a grain of salt.

He actively solicited, and won, donations from LGBT groups and donors during his campaign and promised to support marriage equality, not only in his campaign statements, but on a signed candidate's questionnaire. He co-sponsored the same-sex marriage bill under consideration, and only a month ago he was tweeting in support of it. And then a day or two ago, out of absolutely nowhere, he changed his mind, became an opponent of same-sex marriage, said he'd vote against it on the floor — which is expected to be a tight tally — once it got out of committee, and secretly deleted his month-old tweet in support of it. Apparently he's pretty big into Jesus these days, and Jesus told him not to support marriage equality after all. Donors want their money back, because he lied to them like a complete asshole.

Fortunately Arora caught so much rage online and in the newspapers yesterday that he grudingly relented this morning and said he'd vote for it. Good for him! But his political career is over. This political mistake by a freshman in the lower chamber of a state legislature was so monumentally terrible that it's become a hot national political story. He killed a lot of momentum with his brief come-to-Jesus detour, after all.

posted by zarq at 12:10 PM on March 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm guessing Jesus signed a check or something?
posted by The Whelk at 12:12 PM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't mean to be a thrower of cold water but it's worth pointing out for those who don't follow legislative political process that the bill hasn't actually passed yet.

I mean, I of course am hoping beyond hope that it passes the full chamber next week... but we can't really count those chickens before they've hatched, especially considering the eleventh-hour antics of some of the MD delegates on this bill to date.
posted by pineapple at 12:17 PM on March 4, 2011


The calls are primarily from advocates from both sides of the debate. But when she filters through the national groups and the extremists, the majority of everyday folks who put her in office lean toward the thoughts of the 70-year-old woman on that bus bench.

"Most of my constituents are against it," she said. "And now I have to think of them, to think of representing the people who put me here."


No, Delegate Alston, you have to think of the rights you would be denying to a minority, some of whom also put you in office.
posted by spitefulcrow at 12:20 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Most of my constituents are against it," she said. "And now I have to think of them, to think of representing the people who put me here."

Every time I hear an argument like this, I just think about it coming from someone like Strom Thurmond or George Wallace.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:25 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've been making phone calls to delegates' offices for the past week, and I'm about ready to explode. What guns are NOM holding to these people's heads to make them flip-flop like that? I'm just glad that Carter, one of my own delegates, voted yes, because I couldn't get a straight answer from her office yesterday. If she hadn't, I would have had to register as a Democrat (currently unaffiliated, you know) just so I could help vote her out of office come the next primaries.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:40 PM on March 4, 2011


spitefulcrow: No, Delegate Alston, you have to think of the rights you would be denying to a minority, some of whom also put you in office.

Keep reading, it gets better.
"You've got to change the hearts of people. When people get to know homosexual couples and see them get married and see who they are, it's different," she said. "That right to pursue happiness, that human right to marry who you love, that's what our soldiers are dying for. Protecting these rights we have."
And those who keep pointing to the angry old people who keep calling and writing letters, I point to the other end, the disenfranchised youth. Look to the future. They might not give you the financial or voting support that the older generation does, but they're moving up, while the older population is dying off.

Vote for the future.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:43 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't mean to be a thrower of cold water but it's worth pointing out for those who don't follow legislative political process that the bill hasn't actually passed yet.

I mean, I of course am hoping beyond hope that it passes the full chamber next week... but we can't really count those chickens before they've hatched, especially considering the eleventh-hour antics of some of the MD delegates on this bill to date.


Yup. All you Marylanders out there, write your delegates!
posted by amarynth at 12:44 PM on March 4, 2011


Apparently he's pretty big into Jesus these days, and Jesus told him not to support marriage equality after all.

Christ: what an asshole.
posted by Zozo at 12:50 PM on March 4, 2011 [14 favorites]


Ideally, she would amend the bill to get Maryland out of the marriage business altogether.

"It should be civil unions for everybody," she said. "Civil unions for men and women and civil unions for same-sex couples. Then, if you want to, go to your church and have a wedding."


I've seen this idea getting more and more traction recently, but I haven't yet heard of anyone writing a bill to this effect. Has that happened?
posted by roll truck roll at 12:59 PM on March 4, 2011


The poster should have waited until the Bill becomes law, so it won't be a double when it happens. Last week the post was deleted for the same reason.
posted by stbalbach at 1:02 PM on March 4, 2011


Yup. All you Marylanders out there, write your delegates!

Ahh I see what you did there :)
posted by stbalbach at 1:03 PM on March 4, 2011


[Huckabee]

This is ruining America faster than Natalie Portman. Or Teen Mom. Or Jersery Shore. Or Newt Gingrich. Or Bristol Palin. Wait, not those last two.

[/Huckabee]
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:07 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've seen this idea getting more and more traction recently, but I haven't yet heard of anyone writing a bill to this effect. Has that happened?

It's largely a matter of semantics, isn't it? "Marriage" in a legal sense is a "union" of two people in the eyes of civil authorities. And then they can do whatever they care to in front of the religious figure of their choice.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:15 PM on March 4, 2011


I find the civil-unions-for-all thing vaguely bullshitty. It smacks of "well, people get annoyed when we let the queers have the magic word, so if we took that word out of it, everything would be fine amirite."

I doubt the reality would work that way.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:50 PM on March 4, 2011


Hawaii passed a civil unions bill two weeks ago. There was ... not all that much drama this time. Our last governor (Linda Lingle, R) vetoed a similar bill not twelve months ago, when there were fairly large crowds protesting both for and against the bill. I think people on both sides are just burned out.

Hawaii has been on something of a roller-coaster this this issue. Our Supreme Court voided a law prohibiting same sex marriage, a decision I've heard referred to as an early landmark. There was then an ugly (and successful) campaign to have the State Constitution amended to give the Leg the power to restrict marriage to opposite sex couples, which it did. At any rate, civil unions are the law of the land in Hawaii now.
posted by lex mercatoria at 1:57 PM on March 4, 2011


The civil-unions-for-everyone concept (while I support it in theory) is mainly useful only as a rhetorical device for getting bigots to reveal their true colors. This conversation has occurred more than once:

"I'm no bigot, but marriage is only between a man and a woman, because God says so!"
"Okay, so how about we give civil unions to everybody? That way you can keep marriage holy."
"Uh... no!"
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:57 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but 1) you need that rhetorical half-step before you get people to stop knee-jerking to the idea that equality is for all across.

and 2) It's more to deal with the proportion of the population for whom "Marriage is an institution where a man and a woman marry through God" thing.
posted by stratastar at 1:59 PM on March 4, 2011


The reason unions for everyone doesn't work is that then you have to engage in the enormous political undertaking of removing marriage from every state and federal regulation ever.

If our actual goal is equality, it makes the most sense to keep the regulations as they are and just apply them equally.
posted by kavasa at 2:05 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also, good luck getting this passed in the Virginia "We hate those liberal bastards in the North of our state, but we'll take their money anyways" Assembly. It's for Lovers, Indeed.
posted by stratastar at 2:07 PM on March 4, 2011


The political makeup of Virginia is going to change with the most recent census. Northern Virginia has the overwhelming majority of the population, and it's only increased since the last census.
posted by electroboy at 2:11 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing Jesus signed a check or something?

Jesus's representatives.

The Son of God has the best plausible deniability ever.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:20 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The reason unions for everyone doesn't work is that then you have to engage in the enormous political undertaking of removing marriage from every state and federal regulation ever.

I'm not totally up with US law, but couldn't you just add '...or civil union' after 'marriage'? That seems to be what's happened in countries like the UK and New Zealand, which have civil unions, though not marriage, for same-sex couples.

[though I agree that the best and only fair option is marriage for all]
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:21 PM on March 4, 2011


electroboy, I don't really think so, the General Assembly is setup in the same way that the U.S. Senate is setup, an equal number of delegates come from constituent districts across the commonwealth; giving southern counties much more voting power than northern ones, despite the population differences.
posted by stratastar at 2:22 PM on March 4, 2011


I'm not totally up with US law, but couldn't you just add '...or civil union' after 'marriage'? That seems to be what's happened in countries like the UK and New Zealand, which have civil unions, though not marriage, for same-sex couples.

That's still changing each and every law and regulation that affects or is affected by marriage.
posted by kmz at 2:24 PM on March 4, 2011


I doubt the reality would work that way.

Washington state's Everything But Marriage bill had plenty of opposition.
posted by nomisxid at 2:43 PM on March 4, 2011


Woot! It was so frustrating to read about Carter and Alston holding out after co-sponsoring it, a few days ago.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:33 PM on March 4, 2011


But [Arora's] political career is over.

Nah, he'll just switch parties. And even if this kills his political career, it will just jumpstart his Fox News pundit career.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:48 PM on March 4, 2011


the bill was passed

Indeed.
posted by armage at 8:41 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maryland lands Mary marriage

Yay!
posted by Sys Rq at 12:40 PM on March 5, 2011


Maryland Politics Watch has had (as usual) solid coverage of the events so far, although I don't know if anybody's reading this thread any more.
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 12:06 PM on March 9, 2011


The vote should be coming very soon. You can listen to today's proceedings at here, or follow updates on Equality Maryland or Maryland Politics Watch.
posted by amarynth at 10:53 AM on March 11, 2011


Per Gawker:

Maryland’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill Dies
The House needed a simple majority of 71 out of 141 members to send the bill to a supportive Gov. Martin O'Malley, since it had already passed the state Senate. Just a couple of weeks ago the bill had secured enough votes, but last-minute pressure from church groups and the National Organization for Marriage apparently scared a few new, sensitive delegates into wavering on their commitments. It's been bleeding support ever since, to the point where House leaders didn't feel confident enough to bring it to a formal vote today.
Bastards.
posted by zarq at 12:17 PM on March 11, 2011


Ugh.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:24 PM on March 11, 2011


« Older From the day cognitive scientist Deb Roy and his w...   |   When I was 17...... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments