MD: Same-sex marriage vote likely today

March 11, 2011

By John Wagner, The Washington Post

High drama is anticipated on the floor of the Maryland House of Delegates on Friday, as lawmakers decide the fate of a bill that would allow same-sex marriages.

As of late Thursday night, several bill supporters acknowledged they stillremain short of the 71 votes neededto send the bill to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who has said he wants to sign it. The Senate has already approved the legislation.

A full range of possibilities could play out on Friday, including failure of the bill on the House floor. Some supporters said they remain hopeful they can sway a couple of colleagues during debate, and there was also talk Thursday afternoon about amending the legislation. That would send it back to the Senate.


You can listen to Friday’s floor debate here. We will also provide updates in this space as they occur.

The House is scheduled to convene at 11 a.m. The starting time will almost certainly be delayed, however, because of separate meetings scheduled for Democrats and Republicans to talk about the upcoming debate.

The House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the bill, is also expected to meet shortly before the floor session to decide whether to accept an amendment that could help cement the support of one wavering Democrat.

If the bill passes, Maryland would join five other states and the District in allowing same-sex marriages. The bill could be put on hold, however,pending the outcome of a statewide referendum.


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