Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Maryland Same-sex Marriage Bill to be Introduced This Week

On Top Magazine is reporting that openly gay Maryland State Senator Rich Madaleno has said that he is expecting legislation to be introduced this week that would lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage in my home state. Maryland law already allows for the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in neighboring Washington DC and other states, countries or jurisdictions where is is legal.
A gay marriage bill will be introduced in the Maryland Senate this week, Senator Rich Madaleno told On Top Magazine during a brief telephone interview on Monday.

The 45-year-old openly gay Democrat is the lead sponsor of the legislation in the Senate.
Lawmakers in each chamber will introduce separate bills in order to expedite the process during Maryland's brief 90-day session, which began last Wednesday.

Chances of passage are “the best it's ever been,” Madaleno said. “We had a very successful election in Maryland on this issue. We brought in a number of new people who are committed to this issue in both chambers. In the state Senate we enlarged the Democratic majority, which is a rarity in 2010.”

“It was a transformative election in Maryland on this issue,” he added.

While Madaleno agreed with Governors Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Andrew Cuomo of New York that gay marriage can be an economic issue, he insisted that backers in Maryland continue to frame marriage equality mostly as a matter of civil rights.

Previous attempts to legalize gay unions have suffered setbacks in the Senate's Judicial Proceedings Committee, but new assignments have boosted the number of supporters on the 11-member panel to six, paving the way for such a bill to reach the Democrat-controlled Senate floor.

Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley has pledged to sign a gay marriage bill into law if approved by lawmakers.
On a personal note to my sisters: Just so we're clear, this does not mean that I will be moving back to Maryland or that Paul and I will be making a mad dash to the alter at some over-the-top family affair planned by you. Politics aside, the decision to get married is a personal one, whether the couple is gay or straight. Although I'm fighting for the right to marry, I hate weddings. I'd much rather get married by an Elvis impersonator in Vegas at the all night Chapel O' Love.

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