February 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Maryland Senate passes marriage bill, 25-22

Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County) is among the bill's supporters. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Maryland senators met in Annapolis Thursday to debate the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in the Free State. The bill passed 25-22 and now goes on to Gov. Martin O’Malley for his signature, which he has pledged.

Earlier in the day, the Maryland Senate resumed debate on amendments to the bill.

In a Thursday morning session, the Senate voted down six hostile amendments aimed at weakening or killing the marriage bill.

The six amendments were introduced by three senators, each of whom opposes the bill.

“It’s time for us to move on with this bill,” said Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County), one of the bill’s lead sponsors who served as floor leader on behalf of the measure.

Raskin said the amendments were unnecessary and called on his Senate colleagues to vote against them. Each lost by a lopsided vote.

Opponents now have until the end of May to gather 55,736 valid signatures to force the issue onto the November ballot. The law is slated to take effect in January 2013 to allow the referendum process to play out. Supporters, meanwhile, are already looking toward the referendum fight.

“We’re fortunate to be riding a huge wave of momentum as we enter the referendum process,” said Sultan Shakir, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, in a statement. “There is still a lot of work to do over the coming months, but we think voters will ultimately agree that all children, no matter who their parents are, should be protected under the law. Marriage equality is about building strong, stable families.”

Here’s how Maryland’s senators voted:

Voting Yea

Brochin, James (D) Baltimore Co.

Conway, Joan Carter (D) Baltimore

Ferguson, William C., IV (D) Baltimore

Forehand, Jennie M. (D) Montgomery

Frosh, Brian E. (D) Montgomery

Garagiola, Robert J. (D) Montgomery

Gladden, Lisa A. (D) Baltimore

Jones-Rodwell, Verna L. (D) Baltimore

Kasemeyer, Edward J. (D) Howard

Kelley, Delores G. (D) Baltimore Co.

King, Nancy J. (D) Montgomery

Kittleman, Allan H. (R) Howard

Klausmeier, Katherine A. (D) Baltimore Co.

Madaleno, Richard S., Jr. (D) Montgomery

Manno, Roger (D) Montgomery

McFadden, Nathaniel J. (D) Baltimore

Montgomery, Karen S. (D) Montgomery

Pinsky, Paul G. (D) Prince George’s

Pugh, Catherine E. (D) Baltimore

Ramirez, Victor R. (D) Prince George’s

Raskin, Jamie B. (D) Montgomery

Robey, James N. (D) Howard

Rosapepe, James C. (D) Prince George’s

Young, Ronald N. (D) Frederick

Zirkin, Robert A. (D) Baltimore Co.


Voting Nay

Astle, John C. (D) Anne Arundel

Benson, Joanne C. (D) Prince George’s

Brinkley, David R. (R) Frederick

Colburn, Richard F. (R) Dorchester

Currie, Ulysses (D), Prince George’s

DeGrange, James E., Sr. (D) Anne Arundel

Dyson, Roy P. (D) St. Mary’s

Edwards, George C. (R) Garrett

Getty, Joseph M. (R), Carroll

Glassman, Barry (R) Harford

Jacobs, Nancy (R) Harford

Jennings, J. B. (R) Harford

Mathias, James N., Jr. (D) Worcester

Middleton, Thomas M. (D) Charles

Miller, Thomas V. Mike (D) Calvert

Muse, C. Anthony (D) Prince George’s

Peters, Douglas J. J. (D) Prince George’s

Pipkin, E. J. (R) Cecil

Reilly, Edward R. (R) Anne Arundel

Shank, Christopher B. (R) Washington

Simonaire, Bryan W. (R) Anne Arundel

Stone, Norman R., Jr. (D) Baltimore Co.



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

  • Well, at least it won’t go into effect until all legal challenges and voter referenda are concluded. That will give the legislature enough time to assure that, unlike DC, we’re covered by the state’s divorce proceedings. Maybe Rosie O’Donnell the Clown can be the first to get re-married in Maryland!!

  • Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes. DC. Now MD. Jersey would have been on that list if it wasn’t for that chunky monkey FLUBERNER CHRISSY CHRISTIE (R-NJ)

  • Hallelujah!
    For referendum you are in accurate.
    What is needed is:

    “To qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot, opponents of the law will need to gather one-third of the required signatures — 18,579 — by May 31 and the rest by June 30”

    according to the Baltimore Sun.

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