In Maryland, Delegate Alston is back on board. Waiting on Carter and Arora

From Julie Bykowicz at the Baltimore Sun who has been providing really excellent coverage of the marriage bill in Maryland:

Del. Tiffany Alston said she is now prepared to vote on a proposal to allow gay couples to marry, and it seems she will vote in favor of it.

The Prince George’s County Democrat was one of two legislation co-sponsors who refused to vote on the bill at a key committee session Tuesday. She told The Sun last night that she had needed “time to think it through.”

In a statement delivered in the early morning hours today, Alston, a new delegate, says: “From the beginning of my campaign I have told the people that elected me that I personally supported the same sex couple’s right to marry. I believe all people should be treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation. … I have resolved that if and when the chairman calls the vote I will be ready to vote based on what I believe to be right.” (Entire statement after the jump.)

What Del. Jill Carter plans to do remains a mystery for now.

Carter is the delegate who thinks the marriage bill has been fast-tracked and now says she wants attention to other issues.

One other potential problem, Sam Arora, shouldn’t be:

Another judiciary member, Del. Sam Arora, also new this year, said he plans to vote for the bill in committee but has not made clear that he will vote for it on final passage.

“This bill deserves an up-or-down vote, so I’m voting to send it to the floor,” the Montgomery County Democrat said. He indicated that he would announce his intentions before the floor vote.

Why wait? Arora is a young guy who has been involved in Democratic politics for awhile. He used to work for Hillary Clinton. His campaign finance report reads like a who’s who of D.C. progressives. Arora should be a sure thing, but, he’s not. His position is causing a stir on twitter like this one from jburkemiller, which has gotten lots of retweets:

Disappointed that a member of @YoungDemsofMD, Del. @sam_arora, has chosen to sit when it is obviously time to stand. #marryland

The fact that Arora is not fully supportive sends the wrong message at a bad time. If a young, progressive Democrat from the most liberal part of the state isn’t fully supportive, what are more moderate Delegates from more conservative districts going to think?

This is an historic vote. I can’t believe a young Democrat would want to define their career by being on the wrong side of history.

If you live in Maryland, call your Delegates. Equality Maryland makes it easy.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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