Same-sex marriage bill passes first hurdle in Senate

Maryland's Senate voted 25-22 in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry after a fairly short and focused debate.

The bill has not yet cleared the body, but the vote is a positive sign for supporters of the legislation. It could go to final passage as early as Thursday. (See vote tally after the jump.)


The supporters beat back a series of unfriendly amendments during the morning debate. Most were offered by Republican members who wanted to make technical changes to the bill that would allow more people or businesses to opt-out of providing services at same-sex wedding ceremonies.

The bill was amended so that religious organizations - like the Knights of Columbus - would not have to provide insurance to same-sex couples. Bill sponsors supported the change.


The only unfriendly change adopted was Sen. Anthony Muse's suggestion to name the bill the "Civil Marriage Protection Act." It was introduced as the "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

The tone of the debate was fairly restrained, through after a several amendments were withdrawn, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller sounded slightly irritated with his members.

"I think we are going way too far with these amendments," Miller said. "It is going a little too far. I think they are well intended, but I think we are going too far."

Vote tally


Sen. James Brochin, Baltimore County Democrat

Sen. Joan Carter Conway, Baltimore Democrat

Sen. Bill Ferguson, Baltimore Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Jennie Forehand, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Brian Frosh, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Rob Garagiola, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Lisa Gladden, Baltimore Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Verna Jones, Baltimore Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, Baltimore and Howard counties Democrat

Sen. Delores Kelley, Baltimore County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Nancy King, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Allan H. Kittleman, Howard County Republican

Sen. Katherine Klausmeier, Baltimore County Democrat

Sen. Richard Madaleno, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Roger Manno, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Nathaniel McFadden, Baltimore Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Karen Montgomery, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Paul Pinsky, Prince George's County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, Baltimore Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Victor Ramirez, Prince George's County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Jamie Raskin, Montgomery County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. James Robey, Howard County Democrat

Sen. James Rosapepe, Prince George's County Democrat

Sen. Ronald Young, Frederick County Democrat (sponsor)

Sen. Bobby Zirkin, Baltimore County Democrat (sponsor)


Sen. John Astle, Anne Arundel County Democrat

Sen. Joanne Benson, Prince George's County Democrat

Sen. David Brinkley, Carroll and Frederick counties Republican

Sen. Richard Colburn, Eastern Shore Republican

Sen. Ulysses Currie, Prince George's County Democrat

Sen. James DeGrange, Anne Arundel County Democrat

Sen. Roy Dyson, Southern Maryland Democrat

Sen. George Edwards, Western Maryland Republican

Sen. Joseph Getty, Baltimore and Carroll counties Republican

Sen. Barry Glassman, Harford County Republican

Sen. Nancy Jacobs, Harford and Cecil counties Republican

Sen. J.B. Jennings, Baltimore and Harford counties Republican

Sen. James Mathias, Eastern Shore Democrat

Sen. Thomas Middleton, Charles County Democrat

Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller, Prince George's and Calvert counties Democrat

Sen. C. Anthony Muse, Prince George's County Democrat

Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters, Prince George's County Democrat

Sen. E.J. Pipkin, Eastern Shore Republican

Sen. Edward Reilly, Anne Arundel County Republican

Sen. Christopher Shank, Washington County Republican

Sen. Bryan Simonaire, Anne Arundel County Republican

Sen. Norman Stone, Baltimore County Democrat