PLACE A CLASSIFIED AD  |  WHERE TO FIND THE BLADE    |   WASHBLADE ON MYSPACE THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2007 
  Please login or create a new account  ?

HOME
CLASSIFIEDS
AUTO GUIDE

THE LATEST
BLADEWIRE
BLADEBLOG
BLOGWATCH

• NEWS
• VIEWPOINT
• ENTERTAINMENT
• CALENDARS
• ECLIPSE
• OUT IN DC
BITCH SESSION



EMAIL UPDATES
New to email
updates? Then click here to find out more.

email address
subscribe
unsubscribe
I have read and agree to our terms
and conditions
.


ADVERTISING
GENERAL INFO
E-EDITION
MARKETING

ABOUT US
ABOUT THE BLADE
MASTHEAD
EMPLOYMENT

Md. legislature kills same-sex marriage ban
Proposed constitutional amendment dies on 12-8 vote
By JOSHUA LYNSEN | Mar 22, 4:55 PM

An attempt to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage in Maryland died Thursday when a House committee voted to kill the measure.

The judiciary committee voted 12-8 to reject House Bill 919, which also sought to bar public schools from teaching about “same-sex relationships.” The measure was considered unlikely to pass the General Assembly and would have faced a gubernatorial veto.

Although the vote came largely along party lines, two Democrats supported the measure.

Dels. Kevin Kelly (D-Allegany County) and Gerron Levi (D-Prince George’s County) voted to support the bill. Neither delegate was immediately available for comment.

Despite the two crossover votes, Dan Furmansky, executive director of Equality Maryland, said he was pleased the committee rejected the measure.

“Clearly,” he said, “the strong and compelling witnesses who testified against this bill were heard by the lopsided majority of legislators who rejected the legislation.”

Del. Don Dwyer (R-Anne Arundel County), the bill’s author and a judiciary committee member, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But Rick Bowers, chair of Defend Maryland Marriage and pastor of Living Stone House of Worship in Pasadena, Md., said the amendment fight isn’t over.

“To me, I don’t think the effort is dead until the final bell rings,” he said. “There’s always hope available until the end.”

Furmansky said for all practical purposes, though, the amendment has been defeated. A similar bill pending in the Senate judicial proceedings committee is unlikely to come up for vote before the session concludes April 9.

“Once one side kills it, there’s really no reason for the other side to pick it up,” he said. “It’s sort of protocol for the other side not to pick it up.”

Furmansky said Equality Maryland lobbyists are still working to pass bills that would outlaw discrimination against transgender people.

Bills pending in the House and Senate would bar discrimination against transgender men and women in the areas of employment, housing, credit and public accommodations.

Although no one spoke against the bill during a Senate committee hearing earlier this month, Furmansky said the bill remains “stuck in committee.”

He said the judicial proceedings committee chair, Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery County), “won’t bring the bill for a vote.”                 

Frosh’s stance is surprising, Furmansky said, because the legislator indicated to Equality Maryland in his 2006 candidate questionnaire that he would support adding “gender identity and expression” to Maryland’s anti-discrimination law. The bill does just that.

Frosh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“My guess,” Furmansky said, “is that there is a reluctance by the leadership to let the bill out of committee because of the perception it could cause problems on the (Senate) floor.”

Furmansky said Equality Maryland has asked its members and supporters to call Frosh “and urge him to bring the bill to a vote.”

 Joshua Lynsen can be reached at jlynsen@washblade.com.

E-Mail this article

Letter to the Editor

Sound Off about this article

MORE BLADE NEWS UPDATES

national | local | world | arts | classifieds | real estate | about us

© 2007 | A Window Media LLC Publication | Privacy Policy