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Maryland marriage
ban proponents may try again

Maryland marriage
ban proponents may try again

A GOP proposal to ban gay marriage was defeated by Maryland's house judiciary committee last week. The bill was a response to last month's ruling by a Baltimore circuit court judge that declared Maryland's existing law prohibiting same-sex marriage unconstitutional. But state Republican lawmakers are still seeking to change that constitution. They have already put together a new bill to replace the one that was killed last week by the house judiciary committee, a new bill that they are calling much simpler. The measure that was killed by the judiciary committee would have not only banned gay marriage but also civil unions. Republicans think this was why the bill failed. The bill's sponsor, Adelaide Eckardt, told The Gazette, "I think most people have no problem with marriage being between one man and one woman." Democrats see this push as a political move. Baltimore Democrat Curtis Anderson told The Baltimore Sun, "They are using this as an Election Day ploy to get the hard-core conservatives out to vote." But openly gay state senator Richard Madaleno thinks it will backfire, saying, "For every conservative [they] might energize, [they] turn off a minivan full of soccer moms in Columbia." If the new ban doesn't clear the committee, proponents could again employ a rarely used parliamentary maneuver to bypass the committee and force a vote on the house floor. Forty-seven votes would be needed for that maneuver to succeed. Last week's bill fell 10 votes short. (Sirius OutQ News)

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