Maryland House Judiciary Committee passed Marriage bill this afternoon

The news via Equality Maryland:

This afternoon, after careful consideration, the House Judiciary Committee voted 12-10 in favor of sending Senate Bill 116 – the Civil Marriage Protection Act – for consideration by the full House of Delegates. This is an exciting step that adds even more momentum behind marriage equality in the state of Maryland.

Majority Leader, Delegate Kumar Barve (D-17), Lead Sponsor
“To me, this legislation is all about family, liberty and respect. I respect the civil liberties of same-sex couples who wish to solemnize their relations and families in the eyes of the law. I also respect the values of those in our society who are not comfortable with same-sex relationships. Surely there is enough space in America for all of us to build our lives and families as we choose and live next to each other.”

The Baltimore Sun’s Julie Bykowicz live-tweeted the hearing here. Delegate Tiffany Alston voted No, which could have killed the legislation, but the Chair of the Committee stepped up:

Chairman Vallario, who opposes same-sex marriage, saves the bill by becoming the 12th committee vote. Alston voted no.

Earlier in the week, Delegate Alston said:

“I believe all people should be treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation”

Not really.

Arora voted yes, as promised. Although, he wants voters to decide our civil rights.

The House will vote next week.

UPDATE: Here’s the vote count, courtesy of Equality Maryland:

Joseph F. Vallario, Jr., Chair – YES
Kathleen M. Dumais, Vice-Chair – YES

Tiffany T. Alston _ NO
Curtis S. (Curt) Anderson _ YES
Sam Arora – YES
Jill P. Carter – YES
Luke H. Clippinger _ YES
John W. E. Cluster, Jr. _ NO
Frank M. Conaway, Jr. – YES
Don H. Dwyer, Jr. -NO
Michael J. Hough – NO
Kevin Kelly – NO
Susan C. Lee – YES
Susan K. McComas – NO
Michael A. McDermott – NO
Keiffer J. Mitchell, Jr. – YES
Neil C. Parrott – NO
Luiz R. S. Simmons – YES
Michael D. Smigiel, Sr. – NO
Kriselda Valderrama – YES
Geraldine Valentino-Smith – NO
Jeffrey D. Waldstreicher – YES

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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