Maryland House Debating Marriage Bill NOW
March 9, 2011 by Sultan Shakir, Director of Youth and Campus Engagement Program
Lots of updates coming our our organizers in Annapolis. We'll post them here as we get them:
11:12 a.m. -- Today, the Maryland State House of Delegates began debate on amendments for the Civil Marriage Protection Act. We've been successful in defeating an amendment to allow adoption agencies to discriminate and are now working to defeat an amendment to weigh down the bill with changes to school curriculum. More updates to come.
11:40 a.m. -- House members are now debating an amendment to send the marriage bill to the ballot. Delegate Keiffer Mitchell spoke eloquently about the need to protect the rights of minorities. Really great debate. We've already defeated three other amendments about discrimination in adoption and education and one to change the name of the bill. These ploys are really just to send the bill back to the Senate.
11:44 a.m. -- from Field Director Marty Rouse sitting up in the House gallery: The air is electric. Tensions high. Supporters of marriage equality wearing red sit next to opponents wearing stickers saying "One man one woman." We may be on opposite sides, but we are all active participants in democracy. A convoluted amendment to send the bill to the ballot in a roundabout way was just defeated by a vote of 63 to 72. We survived today. Thank you to Delegate Kathleen Dumais who led the floor debate and helped block today's harmful amendments. The bill now goes to a final floor vote on Friday.
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