UPDATE @ 4:36 PM: Possible progress towards a committee vote according a tweet from the Baltimore Sun’s Julie Bykowicz:
House judic vote on same-sex marriage could take place tonight. Speaker met at length with 2 dels who were withholding support.
Have to love it when our “allies” decide that basic civil rights are political fodder. That’s apparently what is happening today at the Maryland State House. As reported earlier, two delegates, both supporters of marriage, were “missing” from the House Judiciary Committee hearing where the bill was supposed to get a vote. Well, they’re back, but Delegate Jill Carter is holding the bill “hostage.” That’s according to The Baltimore Sun, where the headline reads “City del. willing to hold marriage vote hostage”:
Del. Jill Carter, a Baltimore Democrat, said she is reluctant to vote on legislation that would legalize marriage for same-sex couples until other issues, including a child custody bill and education funding, gain traction in the General Assembly this year.
Carter was one of two delegates supportive of gay marriage who staged a walkout this morning during a specially scheduled vote on the marriage proposal — which has already cleared the Senate and had been expected to make it out of the House committee today.
But Carter said there are “more important, or at least equally important” issues that she would like to see fast-tracked in the way that, in her view, gay marriage has been. And she said that until she hears from House leadership, she does not plan to cast a committee vote in favor of the Civil Marriage Protection Act.
She is a critical vote: The House Judiciary Committee contains only exactly enough “yes” votes to get the same-sex marriage proposal out of committee and to the House floor for debate by the entire 141-member chamber.
I don’t know Delegate Carter. But, I’ve spent a lot of time in State Houses. They are funny places. I guess we have to take Delegate Carter at her word. But, she knows that the longer the debate plays out, the less likely are chances of success.