Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Maryland Senator May Vote FOR Marriage Equality After Maggie Gallagher's Testimony

Be sure to send Maggie Gallagher a very special Valentine and a big, sloppy, same-sex kiss this week. (Well, maybe not the kiss.) From the Baltimore Sun:
Baltimore County Sen. James Brochin found the testimony Tuesday by opponents of gay marriage "troubling," and said this morning that he may support the bill. The Baltimore County Democrat had previously said he was against same-sex marriage."
The demonization of gay families really bothered me," Brochin said. "Are these families going to continue to be treated by the law as second class citizens?" 
The change adds Brochin to a group of six other senators who have either not decided how they are going to vote or declined to declare their intentions publicly, according to a Sun review. (See list of Senators' positions after the jump.) Twenty senators have said they will support the bill; 24 votes are needed for passage. 
Brochin said he would prefer to see Maryland approve civil unions and plans to offer the alternative as an amendment in committee. He acknowledged that he does not have the votes. 
The senators on the Judicial Proceedings Committee Tuesday listened to over seven hours of testimony from supporters and opponents of gay marriage.
Because of a reshuffling of committee membership this year, gay marriage supporters for the first time have the votes to bring the issue to the Senate floor.
Proponents in the House of Delegates believe the can find support there for the measure, and Gov. Martin O'Malley has said he will sign a bill if it passes.
The issue has ruffled feathers in the Republican caucus. The House GOP recently put out a position against the bill as did the senate. But Sen. Allan Kittleman relinquished his position as Senate Minority Leader last month after saying he would introduce a civil unions bill. He since decided to support same-sex marriage. 

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