A joint committee in the House of Delegates voted 25-18 Tuesday night to send the marriage equality bill to the floor. Today, the bill was held over until Thursday. Proponents say they are a few votes short of the 71 needed to pass, but the speed with which the measure is moving toward a vote suggests the votes are either there or nearly there.
Recent efforts to court Republican support bore fruit when Anne Arundel Republican Bob Costa voted in favor of the bill. Republican Del. Pat Hogan (Frederick) has indicated that he is undecided. Democratic Del. Sam Arora continues to confuse; last year he supported marriage equality, then changed his mind and opposed it in committee, and then changed his mind and supported it on the floor. Arora abstained during the committee vote on Tuesday.
Arora and other members of the committee who subsequently voted against the bill, voiced support throughout the hearing for amendments that would make civil unions legal in Maryland rather than legalizing same-sex marriage. All efforts to amend the bill were defeated.
The delay in floor consideration will give marriage equality opponents ample time to prepare amendments to the bill. The votes on the amendments will be an early indicator of whether the 71 votes needed for passage have been secured.
[Continue reading Todd Eberly’s post at The FreeStater Blog.]
Todd Eberly blogs at The FreeStaterBlog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.