Dozens of witnesses testified for and against a same-sex marriage bill before a committee of the Maryland House of Delegates in Annapolis on Friday as the bill’s sponsors cautioned supporters not to become complacent.
officials with the statewide LGBT advocacy group Equality Maryland expressed concern that an expected vote on the bill in the House of Delegates within the next two weeks appears much closer than originally expected.Backers said that as of this week, the number of delegates who have publicly declared their support for the bill was just short of the 71 votes needed in the 141-member House.
A warning signal that support in the House could diminish surfaced earlier in the week when Del. Melvin Stukes (D-Baltimore City), a co-sponsor of the marriage bill for the past four years, withdrew his sponsorship.
Stukes told the Baltimore Sun he thought the bill would have given same-sex couples the right to obtain civil unions rather than marriage. Once he realized the measure would allow gays to marry he determined he made a mistake, he told the Sun.
“I’m very sorry that I got on the bill,” he said.
Activists said privately that they were baffled over Stukes’ change of heart on the bill because he represents a progressive-leaning district in Baltimore where the majority of residents would not object to his support for allowing gays to marry.
There’s no history whatsoever in Maryland of gays and lesbians lying to the Legislature to get what they want, now is there?
Now, I don’t profess to know that that’s what happened with Stukes. Its just as likely that the guy didn’t pay attention to what he was agreeing to sponsor. I know, I know…they don’t teach you about that aspect of the legislative process in high school government class, but I like to deal in reality here.
Which brings me to the question: Where is the support that ‘Equality’ Maryland claims to have for trans people going to go if the gay marriage bill tanks?
Or, are we just seeing yet another effect of Marriage Derangement Syndrome? Was ‘Equality’ Maryland so marriage-addled – so blinded by gay marriage greed – that it really didn’t get its ducks in a row for gay marriage while it could have, instead, been expending energy on a legitimate trans rights bill?