Yesterday, via the Baltimore Sun’s whip count, we learned that supporters of same-sex marriage are just one vote short of a majority in the State Senate. That count shows our side has 23 of the 24 votes needed.
This morning, The Washington Post says we have a majority:
A majority of Maryland’s state senators have said publicly that they will vote to legalize same-sex marriages, greatly increasing the odds that the highest-profile social legislation being considered by the General Assembly will pass in coming weeks.
Here’s how the Post comes up with a majority:
The Post’s count of 24 senators includes one – Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore) – who has said she will not vote for the bill if she believes it will fail. Conway told The Post last week that she “would pray real hard” and vote for the bill if hers was the deciding vote.
Still, it is clear that the legislation, which has stalled in previous years, has considerable momentum.
A Senate committee will take a vote on the bill this Thursday, then on to the Senate floor. The Post also provides this intel:
Although he opposes same-sex marriage, Miller has pledged to work to end any attempted filibuster of the bill, as have several other leaders of the chamber. Twenty-nine votes are required to cut off extended debate.
The chief House sponsor of the legislation, Majority Leader Kumar P. Barve (D-Montgomery), said he is “pretty confident” the bill will pass in his chamber if it first clears the Senate.
“We’ll have more than 71 votes on the House floor,” Barve said, referring to the minimum needed for passage.
Then, we may have to wait til a referendum in 2012, because people still get to vote on the rights of LGBT Americans.