After four years of frustration and disappointment, the stars may be aligning for passage of same-sex marriage in Maryland this year.
New House and Senate committee assignments should ensure that the bill moves to the floor of both chambers for a vote. The House has had the votes to pass it and the same appears true now in the Senate. The Senate president isn’t a supporter, but at least he’s not standing in the way of progress.
Today, another positive sign. Del. Maggie McIntosh sent an e-mail newsletter to constituents previewing the new legislative session, which opened last week. In it she writes:
“As one of the main sponsors of marriage equality legislation the past few years, I am pleased to say 2011 is the first year that I feel a civil marriage bill can and will pass in the Maryland Senate. President Miller, while not a proponent of same-sex marriage, is cooperating with those of us that have made this a priority issue and we are just a few confirmed votes of passing a bill. I am working with advocacy groups and my fellow Delegates to ensure that when a civil marriage bill makes it through the Senate we pass it in the House.”
McIntosh is an experienced, savvy legislator and wouldn’t express such public confidence in the outcome of this vote if it weren’t going to happen. The marriage bill will be introduced next week. If you live in Maryland, it’s time to contact your delegates and senators. Also, make plans to spend Valentine’s Day in Annapolis for Equality Maryland’s annual Lobby Day.
Maryland is on the brink of making history. Now is the time to get involved to ensure the opportunity doesn’t slip away.