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Same-sex marriage on Senate floor next week

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is set to vote a few hours from now on the controversial same-sex marriage bill, but Senate leaders are already assuming the measure will clear the panel and are planning for a week of debate on the divisive issue.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller warned senators to be "flexible" with their evening schedules and said the body might even have to work on the weekend. In addition the same-sex marriage, other issues that evoke passions -- including oyster poaching -- are set to be on the floor.

Miller predicted that debate on same-sex marriage would start in earnest on Tuesday. "I want everyone to have their say," he said. "When it appears people are repeating themselves, then we will take a cloture vote."
The senate president guessed the final passage vote would come Monday Feb. 28.

Advocates believe they have the votes to cut off debate. Whether they have the votes for final passage is much less clear. Twenty-three senators have said they'd vote for the bill, but 24 are needed. (See vote list after the jump.)
Three senators have not publicly declared their intentions -- though one, Baltimore's Joan Carter Conway, has hinted that she'll support the bill.

The other two undecided senators faced a scrum of reporters this morning after session. Sen. Jim Rosapepe, who represents College Park, rebuffed questions from WBAL's Dave Collins. Holding his hand up to his face, Rosapepe said: "No, comment." And then quickly walked down the statehouse stairs.

Rosapepe has said he will announce his position before the week is out.

Anne Arundel County's Sen. John Astle also wouldn't declare his intentions until the vote is called. "You'll see it on the board," he said. "Watch it on the board when I cast my vote."

Meanwhile, House leaders have already scheduled a committee hearing for their version of the bill on Friday Feb. 25.

Question: Do you intend to vote for or against the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act?

For

Sen. James Brochin, Baltimore County 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. Ronald Young, Frederick County Democrat (sponsor)
Sen. Bobby Zirkin, Baltimore County Democrat (sponsor)

Against
Sen. Joanne Benson, Prince George's County Democrat
Sen. David Brinkley, Carroll and Frederick counties Republican
Sen. James Brochin, Baltimore County Democrat
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

No public position/Undecided
Sen. John Astle, Anne Arundel County Democrat
Sen. James Brochin, Baltimore County Democrat (supports)
Sen. Joan Carter Conway, Baltimore Democrat
Sen. Ulysses Currie, Prince George's County Democrat (opposes)
Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, Baltimore and Howard counties Democrat (supports)
Sen. Katherine Klausmeier, Baltimore County Democrat (supports)
Sen. James Rosapepe, Prince George's County Democrat

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