Same-Sex Marriage Bill Killed in Maryland Assembly

This looked like a done deal after the Senate approved it, but the same-sex marriage bill  went down to defeat this afternoon.  I find this to be particularly noteworthy:

Advocates for the bill had hoped Maryland would join five other states and the District in allowing same-sex marriages. The bill had significant momentum coming out of the Senate but ran into resistance in the Democratic-led House from African-American lawmakers from Prince George’s County, who cited religious opposition in their districts, and conservative Democrats in Southern Maryland and the Baltimore suburbs.

People assume that because Maryland is a deeply blue state that same-sex marriage would find more support than in other areas of the country, but there is some innate social conservatism here thanks in part to the substantial African-American population.  This was brought home to me just yesterday when I read an op-ed opposing gay marriage in an independent local paper aimed at the African-American community, and not one normally noted as a bastion of conservative thought.  But I think this vote represents one of the potential areas for schism within the Democratic party.  Just a year ago or so Marion Barry expressed his opposition to DC’s imposition of same-sex marriage, and now we have lawmakers from a majority-black county blocking same-sex marriage in Maryland.

All in all, a day for rejoicing.  For now.

6 Responses to Same-Sex Marriage Bill Killed in Maryland Assembly

  • This is great news. I think the bill would have been over turned on referendum anyway, but its better this way. A lot of people, I think, tend to view Maryland through the lens of the DC suburbs (particularly Montgomery County), which is very liberal. But I think in many other areas of the state, there are a lot of us left who may favor liberal economic policies, but still tend to feel our working class immigrant roots. I voted Democrat for years because I saw them as the party on the side of the little guy (and to a certain extent still do); I stopped voting Democrat because of their increasing embrace or abortion and moral relativism (gay marriage being but the latest example of that).

  • This got me thinking. In a two-party system, minorities who identify primarily with their fellow minorities will not be divided. African Americans will be primarily Democrats or primarily Republicans. And their secondary concerns will tend to follow the party. African Americans have already become pro-choice and they will in time favor gay marriage. Hispanics aren’t far behind. I see only two ways to avoid this. Either eradicate race as an identity or have a multi-party system. It’s not just a matter of politics. Souls are on the line. The two-party system may have worked well when voters were all white land-owning Christian men and the major division was between southern farmers and northern capitalists but we’re too diverse today.

  • The vote in the Senate:

    http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/466a18365c194c9686894fab849ab819/MD-XGR–Gay_Marriage-Roll_Call/

    In the House it was a voice vote to send the bill back to committee so don’t know what the count would have looked like:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/annapolis/2011/03/maryland_house_killes_same-sex.html

    Just for those who care, all but one Republican in the Senate voted against (ten Dems also did). Even with the African American Dem’s opposition, it was likely the House Repubs. who provided the bulk of the majority to stop the bill.

    Just a jab to those who still claim there is no difference between the parties. Well, except for election years. Except this is not an election year. Go figure.

  • “Same-Sex Marriage Bill Killed in Maryland Assembly”
    lol – Violent, eliminationist rhetoric . . .

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