A vote is planned
Thursday on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban
same-sex marriage in Maryland, and both sides in the
emotional dispute say they expect the amendment will
fail in the house judiciary committee. "It would be
unfortunate if that were to happen," Del. Don Dwyer,
sponsor of the bill, said Wednesday. He said he was still
working to round up support but expected that
Democratic leaders would bury his constitutional
amendment in committee.
A ruling last month by a Baltimore judge
striking down Maryland's 33-year-old law limiting
marriage to one man and one woman gave antigay
conservatives a new sense of urgency in
determining whether Maryland should amend the
constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
In other developments, a coalition of religious
and family groups kicked off a drive in Denver on
Wednesday to amend the Colorado state constitution to
ban same-sex marriage.
Coloradans for Marriage submitted a proposed
amendment that defines marriage as the union of a
man and a woman to the state legislative council
office, the first step toward getting it on the ballot this
fall. The group will need the secretary of state to
approve the wording and 68,000 valid signatures from
registered voters to get the measure on the ballot.
An opposing group, Coloradans for Fairness and
Equality, argues that the proposal does not strengthen
or protect marriage and enshrines "discrimination into
the language of the constitution."
Elsewhere Wednesday, Florida4Marriage.org, a
group that wanted to amend the Florida
constitution to define marriage as a union of one man
and one woman, said it had failed to gather enough
signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.
There are currently 18 U.S. states with constitutional
amendments against marriage equality. Most of those
amendments were adopted after Massachusetts's highest court
legalized same-sex marriage in 2003. (AP)