March 9, 2011 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
No vote on marriage in Md. today

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland House of Delegates adjourned for the day without taking a vote on the marriage equality bill.

Supporters defeated four hostile amendments that would have killed or weakened the bill, including one that would have allowed religious institutions to refuse adoptions by same-sex couples. Opponents said the adoption issue was unrelated to the marriage bill.

Del. Sam Arora (D-Montgomery County) voted for that amendment. Arora drew the ire of LGBT rights advocates last week when he pulled his support for the marriage bill.

Another amendment sought to change the name of the bill to the “Same-Sex Marriage Act”; it was also defeated.

A third amendment would have converted the bill into a constitutional amendment to legalize same-sex marriage, which would have forced the bill back to committee where it would have died. The amendment failed.

A final amendment would have given parents the right to take their children out of public school health classes teaching about same-sex marriage and teachers would have had the right to refuse to teach such courses. That amendment was also defeated. Arora voted against those three amendments.

The session is scheduled to resume Thursday morning at 10. A committee hearing on a bill to bar discrimination in employment and housing based on gender identity is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. today.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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