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House Delays Vote On Same-Sex Marriage

An amendment added to the bill would delay same-sex marriage ceremonies until after the 2012 elections.

The House of Delegates Thursday night delayed a vote on same-sex marriage legislation after adopting an amendment that would delay the ceremonies until January 2013.

"That way, there can be no games played should this issue be petitioned to referendum," said Del. Wade Kach, a Republican who represents northern Baltimore County.

Kach said this is meant to prevent a situation, such as what happened in California, where civil marriages went into effect and marriages were performed, but the law was defeated in a referendum.

The amendment, offered by Kach, was adopted by a simple voice vote.

The adoption of the amendment was unusual given that the same amendment was killed in committee on Tuesday night.

Kach, who had previously opposed the bill, switched his vote Wednesday. His vote was said to be contingent on approval of the amendment, according to an Associated Press report.

Kach declined to talk to Patch, but a spokesman said that the delegate had made no such agreement.

"He's voting for the gay marriage bill," said Joe Gutberlet, a Kach spokesman. "He's made up his mind and there's no going back. It's a strong vote."

Kach is one of two Baltimore County delegates to switch positions on the bill in the last 24 hours. Del. John Olszewski Jr., a Dundalk Democrat, announced Thursday he too would support the bill.

"It is not the role of the State to tell my church—or any other faith community—what its beliefs can and cannot be," Olszewski wrote in a statement. "To that end, I have preferred the implementation of civil unions, but to go another day—or let alone another year, or perhaps longer—denying equal rights to all Marylanders would be a disgrace."

The change of heart by the two delegates was welcome news to supporters who are looking to lock up delegates in what is expected to be a very close vote.

Last year the same bill was sent back to committee after supporters fell a few votes short of the 71 needed for passage.

Supporters did apparently lose at least one vote but not because of a change in position.

Del. Veronica Turner, a Prince George's County Democrat and supporter of the same-sex marriage bill, will apparently miss the vote because of a medical procedure that will be performed Friday.

Opponents say the delays, the third in two days, signal that supporters of same-sex marriage do not have the votes again.

"If they had the votes they would have shot down the amendments tonight and passed the bill," said House Minority Leader Del. Anthony O'Donnell.

"There's a large, bi-partisan opposition to this bill, and it's very solid," said O'Donnell.

The House is expected to take up debate on amendments to the bill Friday at 12:30 p.m. A preliminary vote could be taken some time soon after with a final vote coming possibly as early as Monday night.

Bob February 17, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Well thats great Gerri, because the issue is not about what you are allowed to do in your bed. It's about being given the same rights regardless of what you do in your bed.
David A Aughenbaugh February 17, 2012 at 04:22 PM
The house is burning down and we are arguing about the color of the wallpaper!
David A Aughenbaugh February 17, 2012 at 04:23 PM
The argument is growing very old on me, yet I don't understand why the fight has become over a 'word', opponents want the word reserved for reasons of faith or traditional definition, the proponents want the word because, well, they want it, it's their right <?>. This issue would go away, if the State would get out of the marriage business all together and only recognize 'civil unions', the issuance of a civil union license by the state and consummated by an agent of the state, faith based or civil recognition, what would be wrong with this approach? My marriage, (Catholic) is as Mike defined above is a sacrament...I could care less how the state sees it. They only see me as a means for revenue.
gerri February 18, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Well Bob thank you for being so informative. I know what the bill is about. Its about government as usual being into things that they have no right to be involved in. Two people can have a committed marriage no matter what there sex is and should have all the same rights. Its about the self rightous representatives forcing there views
Adrian Stone February 19, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Those who believe marriage to historically be defined as one man and one woman are about as dense as people come. The truth its: it's none of your business. If a man wishes to marry a man, or twenty women, it is their business. This boils down to religion in government, and nothing more. Well, remember the people had the chance to be governed by their fellow man, of by God, and they chose their fellow man. Don't like it? Burn your Bibles and start your own religion, you fiendish blasphemers.

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