Contentious Debate Expected In Md. House On Same-Sex Marriage Bill Friday

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– Set for a showdown. Maryland’s same-sex marriage bill may come down to just one or two votes. And Friday, it’s in the hands of the delegates.

Meghan McCorkell has more on this contentious debate.

That debate was supposed to take place Thursday night. But with the vote so tight, delegates postponed the debate another day. It’s a move some call political wrangling.

On the floor: House Bill 438, same-sex marriage. But which way the vote will go is still in question.

“The situation is very volatile. And a change of one or two votes could determine the outcome of the bill’s passage or failure,” Del. Anthony O’Donnell, the House minority leader, said.

But Thursday night, the House recessed after just 15 minutes. The only order of business: an amendment that would push back the effective date of same-sex marriage to January 2013 instead of this October. It passed in a move that could appease some opponents.

“The amendment allows both sides to– especially the opponents– to petition the issue to the ballot,” Del. Galen Clagett, D-Frederick County, said.

Opponents of the bill say they want answers about why one Republican delegate who voted against the bill in committee has apparently changed his vote.

That delegate– Wade Kach of Baltimore County– proposed the new amendment. He refused to answer questions.

“I’ll talk to you tomorrow,” he said.

His change of heart could be a deciding factor for the bill.

“I think people on a moral issue like this should vote their conscience,” Del. Michael Hough, R-District 3B, said. “And I think what’s we’re seeing now is people are getting their arms twisted. There’s backroom deals going on. And this is not the way you should pass something like this.”

With both sides fired up, fireworks are expected when the debate hits the House floor.

At this point, the future of the bill is still unclear. A vote could come as early as Friday.

The House is set to begin debating the same-sex marriage bill at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

More from Meghan McCorkell
  • Mike Brown

    You will always get a strong lobby from those in favor of gay – marriage but that does not mean the majority of the public approves of it so it should be put to a popular state vote and not left to the legislators to decide who can’t be trusted to act for anything other then special interests right now. If my representative votes in favor of this he will not get re-elected. I can guarantee that!

    • rowan

      civil rights should never be up to the popular vote!, popular is neither right nor interested in protecting the minority…just maintaining their status quo. If you were a minority would you want your rights put up to a vote by those who are trying to keep you down??
      Religion has no place in law, unless we have changed from a democracy into a theocracy?? what religion would rule the USA?? hmmmm… what form of christianity?? Where does it end??

    • oh for heavens sake

      So you’re saying that just because the majority of people feel that it is OK to oppress another group of people, it makes it ok? So, the majority of Germans agreed with Hitler, that makes what they did to their fellow human beings “OK”?

      I am ashamed of people like you. You call yourselves Americans while trying to make our Country religiously oppressive…the very thing our ancestors came here to escape. Roger Williams wrote that forced worship “stinks in God’s nostrils” and that it inevitably leads to hypocrisy….and here you are, proving him 100% right.

      So, how should we “standardize” the Christian (Protestant, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Evangelical, Baptist, Mormon) Bible so that we can all follow along? Right. Now that will be an interesting fight.

      • oh for heaven's sake

        Let me just say, you are correct. I am not a Christian. In my 42 years of life I have met 3 Christian people who walked the walk. Do you know what made them shining examples of good, devout people? I’ll tell you. They did not try to force anyone to believe what they believe, worship as they worship or live the way they live. Instead, they lived their lives the way they saw fit and they showed EVERYONE else nothing but compassion and love. They became the standard by which anyone who knew them wished to be compared and so by virtue of their very existence, they made others want to be like them. THAT is what a good Christian is. THAT is what a good leader does. THAT is how we create a human race that is filled with kind, compassionate God Conscious people rather than condescending, judgmental, God Fearing people.

        Read your Bible again and, this time, read about and really try to understand HOW Jesus taught his people. I also want you to consider this, 80+ % of Americans call themselves Christians. They have been the majority since the advent of our Countrry. Today, we are plagued by bullies, murderers, drug addiction, poverty, starvation and disease… even natural disaster (if you choose to start looking at the supernatural). Maybe it is you and people like you that are destroying our world.

        I am not a Chriatian, but I am a very devout person. I spend every moment of each day devoted to being conscious of God, to serving God. I teach my children to be good examples of what they want the world to be. We start each day by singing prayers and learning how to serve God. I am not Gay. We are a working class, hetero family. I am, by most accounts, very conservative. But I don’t think it is your place to decide how OTHER people live. It is not MY place to tell you how to live. Is it.

      • TWilliams

        Interestingly enough. This country was founded upon that “standardize” the Christian (Protestant, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Evangelical, Baptist, Mormon) Bible. As Christians we have been made to accept a lot of things. But there are some things that just are not right. If they choose to participate in acts of that nature that is truly their choice however we as American people should NOT be made to carry them with OUR TAX dollars. It is very clear that you are not a Christian because Christians stand firm in their beliefs concerning the word of God whom we say we serve. But nevertheless, check it out for yourself Leviticus chapter 18. When we look at all the natural disasters that are taking place it is not by happen stance it is the Word of God coming to pass. We as a people and a nation better take head. I am reminded of something my mother used to tell me – “If you don’t stand for something – you will fall for anything!” Also just note, just because we don’t support the passage of this bill does not mean that we are insensitive or non-caring but it does mean that we are a GOD FEARING people.

  • TIm

    The only thing you can garantee is that you won’t vote for them when they come up for re-election. You can’t garantee the outcome of the election.

  • Ed Smith

    Mike is correct. Gays and gay rights supporters come form all up and down the east coast and beyond to lobby for such bills. Legislators should poll their constituents to see how they feel about this bill. The shear number of people at these rallies has little to do about the feelings of Marylanders. Better yet put it on a referendum and let the people of Maryland speak.

  • Bill

    The current goverment in Maryland and the Country fear the citizens. If they did not they would put it to a vote! They have wasted millions on this nonsense. How about fiscal responcibility for government worries instead of social issues for a minority of Marylanders.

  • Matt

    Why not do a story about the Governor’s amendment that would eliminate the people’s right to vote on the issue. Forcing it through politically so a referendum is no longer an option because of the date it goes into effect?
    It is amazing that politicians play out the controversy, therefore pitting the people against each other and using that as an opportunity to accomplish their will.

  • Ernie

    I don’t see why we’re wasting millions of tax dollars just to make legislation for people to have equal rights. All this money wasted because some people believe they serve a invisible man in the sky.

    If you’re not gay, passing this law will have no effect on your life.

  • Kelly

    @ TWilliams. You said that beautifully. I absolutely agree with everything you have said.

  • rowan

    Twilliams?? Whose God?? My God does not discriminate against gays…….is my belief less then yours?? And as for following the bible>>>>do you eat meat on friday? Beat your wife, your kids?? sell them into slavery? and a veritable smorgasborg of laws that the bible allows/requires/disallows….many that are found to be illegal and repulsive to modern day peoples. The operative word is MODERN… are following rules made by ancient peoples for a tribe of sheep herders….not modern, scientific and educated individuals who think for themselves……
    How dare you place your religion above all others, that you believe yourself so right, you deny others the ability to live a life that has NO bearing on yours….
    it does not diminish you, nor impede you from your beliefs, only allows others to follow their own path….
    Perhaps you should read up on some good islamic text..they follow the same god is better then yours..nanner nanner boo boo..

  • Mark

    The state government is responding to an issue that has been brought to their attention, so it is appropriate that time has been committed to this bill. Having attended rallies for and against (I enjoy the democracy of the process), the people are mostly from Maryland … anecdotally find the ‘against’ skews more on the not-from-Maryland than the ‘for’ side … but both are appropriately voicing their side to their elected officials. Here: for it, as I also see the economic benefit (although minor) that comes from it. If the state can pass slots for education, surely adding more civil-married couples to the tax payroll can be accepted.

  • sandra

    who care’s the government will do what it want’s to do. This is the U.S.A. where we are free at let they say we are but they tell us what to and how to live.

  • S


    If you feel that being Christian means you shouldn’t have to CARRY us GAYS on your TAX DOLLARS. Then maybe you shouldn’t also agree to let us CARRY the ILLEGALS on our TAX DOLLARS. And another thing, we DON’T NEED you CARRYING us anywhere, trust me, we know we wouldn’t get far with you.

  • State Roundup, February 17, 2012 | Maryland News & Things to Do Blog

    […] Meghan McCorkell has more video on the same-sex marriage debate, as does Keith Daniels of Fox […]

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