Friday, March 11, 2011

Did we kill SB116???

From the Washington Times:

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland General Assembly effectively killed a same-sex marriage bill Friday when House leaders unsure if they had enough support to pass a final vote returned the legislation to the chamber’s Judiciary Committee.

The bill had already passed in the Senate, and approval in the full House along with Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley’s assured signature would have made Maryland the sixth state along with the District to legalize such marriages.

The emotionally-charged House debate Friday lasted for almost three hours before Delegate Joseph Vallario Jr., a Prince George’s Democrat and the Judiciary chairman, called for the bill to be return to his committee, and delegates agreed on a voice vote.
Afterward, co-sponsors acknowledged the bill was returned to avoid outright defeat on the House floor and said the committee amending or re-submitting the legislation this year is unlikely.

“Oh, it’s dead,” said committee member and Delegate Curt Anderson, a Baltimore Democrat who co-sponsored the bill. “When you resubmit a bill to the judiciary committee, you probably won’t see it anymore this year.”


Mr Flapatap said...

Looks more like "induced comma" to me but I still will take it as a small victory.

Anonymous said...

I like I how they keep saying "probably" dead. They could reintroduce it the end of the session. According to this article that was their original strategy to give opponents less time to gather referendum signatures:

"Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery County), one of the House’s five lesbian members, said concern over possible erosion of support among delegates prompted supporters to scrap an earlier strategy calling for bringing the bill up for a vote at the very end of the House of Delegates session in April.

Doing that would shorten the time opponents have for gathering petition signatures needed to place the bill before voters in a referendum, making it more difficult to pull off a referendum.

Under Maryland’s referendum law, the clock begins for obtaining petitions when a bill is passed by both houses and the governor signs it. The state constitution sets the deadline for turning in the required number of petition signatures — 3 percent of the registered voters in the state — by June 1 following the adjournment of the legislature, which usually takes place at the end of April."
Thus by passing the marriage bill in the House in early March, as supporters now hope to do, opponents could get more than a month of additional time to obtain the petition signatures than if the bill passed at the end of the session in late April