Md. Politics: Currie says he'll vote against same-sex marriage bill

By John Wagner
Wednesday, February 16, 2011; 1:01 PM

Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George's), one of a handful of Maryland senators who had not declared a position on same-sex marriage, said Wednesday that he intends to vote against the bill.

"It might have a lot to do with my background, coming up in the South, coming up through the churches," Currie, the son of a North Carolina sharecropper, said in an interview. "That has much to do with it as anything."

The vote on the bill, which is expected to reach the Senate floor next week, looks like it will be very close.

A Post tally published earlier this week showed 24 senators -- the bare minimum needed for passage -- having said they would vote for the bill. That tally includes Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore), who told The Post that she was willing to be the deciding vote if needed but would not vote for the bill if it was going to fail. Conway has been more equivocal in statements to other publications.

Currie had previously told The Post that there was about a 40 percent chance he would vote for the bill, which would remove Maryland's requirement that marriages be between a man and a woman. Currie said Wednesday that he will vote to cut off debate if opponents attempt a filibuster.

Another undeclared lawmaker, Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Prince George's), confirmed Wednesday that he intends to announce his position on the legislation by the end of the week. That development was first reported by The Diamondback, the student newspaper at the University of Maryland at College Park, which is in Rosapepe's district.

The paper also reported that Rosapepe has been heavily lobbied to vote for the bill by university students.

Another undecided member, Sen. John C. Astle (D-Anne Arundel), is continuing to be lobbied by advocates for the bill.

A list of senators who support the legislation and remain undeclared is below.

Bill sponsors and co-sponsors (18):

Sen. William C. Ferguson (D-Baltimore)

Sen. Jennie M. Forehand (D-Montgomery)

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