February 16, 2012
By Jacob Combs
As we wrote earlier today, the Maryland House of Delegates began debate on a proposed marriage equality bill. There hasn’t been too much news out of the state today in terms of the bill, but here are some of today’s updates from Maryland (culled from these three articles).
- The marriage equality bill was originally supposed to be taken up this morning, though it was later delayed until a special afternoon session. In the afternoon session, the House passed one amendment to the bill, and then recessed until tomorrow at 12:00 p.m.
- The amendment that passed was sponsored by Delegate Wade Kach, a Republican, who announced that he would support the legislation if his proposal to move the effective date on the bill from October to January was accepted. Kach wants a voter referendum on the issue, and believes moving back the effective date will make it more possible to get the measure on the ballot.
- A full vote on the bill could occur tomorrow; however, no vote has been definitively scheduled as of yet. Additional amendments to the bill will be considered starting at noon.
- Two Democratic delegates, John Olszewski and Pam Beidle, joined Del. Kach today in announcing they would vote yes on the bill.
- Del. Veronica Turner, a confirmed yes vote, was taken to the emergency room today in what was described as a “serious” condition. She will have emergency surgery tomorrow and will not be present for a vote, should it occur.
- Supporters of the legislation are still lobbying to garner more yes votes for the bill.
- According to Maryland law, opponents of marriage equality would need to collect 55,736 signatures by June 30 to place the bill on the November ballot.
Check back tomorrow for more updates on the day’s debate as well as a possible vote!