The 24th vote in Maryland

February 18, 2011 at 6:32 am 52 comments

By Adam Bink

Big news out- the Baltimore Sun reports Sen. Rosapepe just committed, via e-mail to his constituents, to voting for the bill extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. That means we have our 24 publicly committed votes to pass the State Senate. Fantastic.

Here’s his e-mail:

Thanks for contacting me to let me know of your support for SB 116, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. I am writing to let you know that it was passed today by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and will be voted on the Senate floor next week.

I intend to vote for the bill as it was reported out of Committee with a strengthened conscience clause to respect the views of religious denominations which do not recognize same sex marriage. I don’t know what other amendments may be proposed on the Senate floor but will keep your concerns in mind as we consider them.

I appreciate so much the time you and many other constituents have taken to share with me your reasons for supporting the bill.

Please feel free to be in touch with me on issues of concern to you and whenever I can be of help.

For those who missed it, the bill passed out of the Judicial Proceedings Committee yesterday, 7-4. It will go to the Assembly. Thanks to all of you who made calls and organized here.

Entry filed under: Marriage equality.

‘Capital’ columnist calls out NOM push poll; 4 out of 5 NOM staffers unlikely to care Lamest Argument of the Week Award goes to Maggie and Kevin Smith

52 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  February 18, 2011 at 6:42 am


    • 2. plainmike  |  February 18, 2011 at 7:00 am

      nice! :)

      • 3. Ronnie  |  February 18, 2011 at 7:20 am


        • 4. JonT  |  February 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm


  • 5. AnonyGrl  |  February 18, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Happy dance!!!

    • 6. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 18, 2011 at 7:07 am

      Watching AnonyGrl’s fee.

      This is great news. NOMs fake polls didn’t work again. Legislators, judges and others are not paying attention to the Anti-Hate groups any longer and voting their conscious.

      Loving every day of 2011 so far!

      • 7. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 18, 2011 at 7:08 am

        and that fee was feet, I am not paying for you to dance!

        • 8. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  February 18, 2011 at 7:12 am

          Yay!!! @”NOMs fake polls didn’t work again” Checking box this time!

        • 9. AnonyGrl  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:19 am

          Darn! I thought I had discovered new career possibilities… oh well…

          Back to HAPPY DANCE!!

          • 10. Dave in ME  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:25 am

            I’ll dance for a fee too!

            Dave in Maine

          • 11. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:26 am

            I guess we will need to call you all the Prop8 Poll Dancers!

          • 12. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:27 am

            I need another cup of coffee – my spelling today is going to get me into trouble.

          • 13. AnonyGrl  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:28 am

            LOL… “While you look at me twirling around this pole, do you agree that marriage is between a man and a woman… or (wiggle wiggle wiggle)…do I even need to finish the question? Tee hee!”

            It puts a whole new spin on polls.

          • 14. AnonyGrl  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:29 am

            OH! I thought you spelled it POLL on purpose!!! You should say you did… it was very funny!

          • 15. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:32 am

            Well, I did think it was funny, since the failed NOM polls and the independent polls in Maryland were so different.

          • 16. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:33 am

            lol @ a whole new ‘spin’ on poles and polls.

      • 17. Rhie  |  February 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm

        Me too…except that the gay marriage bill in Washington state died. :/

        So I will focus on this one!!

  • 18. Mackenzie  |  February 18, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Fantastic News!

  • 19. Peterplumber  |  February 18, 2011 at 7:17 am


  • 20. Alan E.  |  February 18, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Now we just have to get past the filibuster.

  • 21. Ronnie  |  February 18, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Bravo’s Andy Cohen & Rugby star Ben Cohen (no relation) have an anti-bullying message for everybody…..<3…Ronnie

  • 22. Kathleen  |  February 18, 2011 at 7:55 am

  • 23. Bryan Del Rizzo  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but isn’t this a moot issue? If this passes, isn’t it automatically stayed if opponents get enough signatures to quality for a voter referendum?

    • 24. AnonyGrl  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:30 am

      That in no way makes it moot. Every little step is a step to celebrate!

      • 25. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:39 am

        Ditto! Seems like many baby steps in the direction of equality lately with few setbacks. Encouraging!

    • 26. Mackenzie  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:59 am

      Let them vote…..if we don’t have enough support now, we will by the time a popular vote comes up. A win is a win!

    • 27. Straight Dave  |  February 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

      I’d agree that the odds of us winning a referendum would be much greater in Nov 2012 than in June 2011. There’s so much movement all over the country (+DADT) that the general atmosphere is likely to be more accomodating – NOM’s lies and BS notwithstanding. They might even make the SPLC Hate List by that time.

      I don’t particularly like that our MD friends would have to wait another year and a half, but that may be better than getting the whole thing shot down now. It’s only a bare majority in polls. The trick will be to get friends, allies, family, everybody to get out and vote next year, even if they don’t give a crap about any of the politicians. This is more important and has more immediate impact on real people’s lives.

      Go Maryland!! You’re already taking some good steps forward. Now just keep walking and don’t get distracted.

  • 28. karen in kalifornia  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:46 am

    When would Maryland equality go into effect?
    Anyone know?
    When would Hawaii’s CU’s go into effect?

    • 29. Mackenzie  |  February 18, 2011 at 9:00 am

      I think for Hawaii it is Jan 1st of next year…..but then again I am not sure. There are so many postive things going down I can’t keep track!

      • 30. JPM  |  February 18, 2011 at 9:05 am

        Hawaii CUs go into effect January 1, 2012.

        Maryland law would go into effect unless opponents can gather enough signatures within a certain time period (90 days?) to demand a referendum, in which case the law is put on hold until the next general election, which will not occur until November, 2012.

        Had the NH bills not been tabled, had they been passed and a veto overridden, marriage equality in NH would have ended effective immediately.

    • 31. Married in Maryland  |  February 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      Go Live is October 2011 for Maryland. The issue is the referendum process. The opposition only needs 56,400 valid signatures to put it on hold and force it to the voters in 2012, and only 3% of that is required as a downpayment in a month after declaration to put the “go live” date on hold for another month. If they don’t have all validated signatures then, they are S.O.L… We are a largely populated state, they may get there, although they will have little time….. The interesting thing is that the process is rather strict. To defend: first and foremost we need to ensure that “sampling” is not accepted as a method of validation for the petitions. Each and every signature needs to be validated to voter records, period. Next, I believe we should call out NOM on their money laundering donation history. They are still in litigation in Maine over finance disclosure, with rulings against…. Why let them do that here? The Maryland Constitution is very specific about Financial disclosure. We are likely much more strict than Mainers. We need to file legal objections, and move immediately to have all contributions for ads and donations frozen in light of the obstructionism that is still in ongoing litigation (btw on that front NOM doesn’t have the leg of a barstool to stand on, they are eventually going down…). Also, false and misleading ads or statements are not allowed while they are petitioning. Enforce it!
      What can we all do?
      Please help us start running our ads and all the debunking we need to counter all the twisted crap NOM is about to spew at Maryland. The NY ads for marriage are wonderful, can’t they be tweaked for Maryland so that we can see them here? All the celebrities may make that last ten percent go in our direction this go round! Imagine if voters do not “reject” same sex marriage at the ballot? What follows then for us is a tidal wave….

      Lastly, please help Equality Maryland! We need to do this as a people!


      • 32. Dave in ME  |  February 18, 2011 at 5:42 pm

        It seems like it will be very easy to get the number of signatures. It was VERY easy here in Maine and they did it very quickly.

        Once it was determined that there would be a vote, the Stand For Marriage Maine people got to work.

        Let me be clear-

        EqualityMaine raised more money than they did.
        EqualityMaine out organized them-more volunteers and actions.
        EqualityMaine was first on the airwaves and used real Mainers, gay and straight.

        But we lost. It is VERY VERY VERY easy to scare good people into believing the worst.

        I truly believe that most of the people who voted YES to reject the new law are not hateful. They just didn’t know enough about gay people or the new law and its religious protections.

        Many people still have outmoded notions of gay people and they don’t think any of the “normal” people they know are gay. THAT needs to change.

        And children-it’s hard to make people believe that “the children!” really will be okay once they’ve been told how awful it will be for them. (The Prop8 as with the pseudo schoolteacher telling us about the poor Mass family was re-shot here with Charla Bansley of Concerned Women for America as the pseudo school teacher here in Maine, and it worked.)

        The biggest issue I saw with the campaign here was that last weekend SFMM had a commercial on the radio that played non-stop telling Mainers that voting YES is okay because not only do they protect traditional marriage, but you won’t be hurting your gay friends and relatives because they already have domestic partnerships. Everybody wins. True to a point, except that DP here don’t really do much at all except when one is ill or dead. Those commercials gave many well-intentioned people who were conflicted a way out. And EQME didn’t respond.

        I think the only strategy that will get us all the way is to have real gay people talk face to face with the voters, whether it be door-to-door canvassing (which IS fun, really!) or coming out to your friends, family, and co-workers. Maybe the real gay people on the tv ads will be good (like in Maine and NOT like in California), but I think we all must come out and speak as one. Hard, though-I think most gay people are complacent and are hard to get motivated to volunteer. Thank God for high school girls-they did a lot of work at our office in the Bangor area-far more of them helping than the number of gay men in the area.

        Good luck!

        Dave in Maine

      • 33. Dave in ME  |  February 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm

        Oh-celebrities. I have not seen those commercials so I don’t know who they are. However, if they are Hollywood actors, I do not think that those who are against marriage equality will be swayed by those “California liberals.” A lot of people think that Hollywood is out of touch with real life and that what might be fine for those fornicating actors and actresses and the like is NOT fine here in my town.

        I think using Hollywood actors and other celebrities to say how wonderful, right, fair, marriage equality is is just preaching to the choir.

        Dave in Maine

  • 34. Ed  |  February 18, 2011 at 9:05 am

    OT, but, while this would be a long shot, if not impossible….I’d LOVE to see the biggest employers in states that are trying to ban and or repeal marriage equality close shop and relocate to states where it is safely legal…..I know its sad, but money talks….and the loss of many jobs would surely make lawmakers reconsider what they are trying to do…..
    (and don’t call me Shirley…….sorry, I had to add that LOL)….


    • 35. nightshayde  |  February 18, 2011 at 9:48 am

      The problem with that would be that the people who were affected by that “loss of many jobs” would likely blame the gays and marriage equality supporters for their misfortune. The backlash could be just enough to tip the scales in favor of discrimination for an even longer time.

      You KNOW they wouldn’t blame the anti-gay policies in the state. They’d blame the companies for moving and the gays for pressuring the companies to move.

      • 36. bJason  |  February 18, 2011 at 10:06 am

        I agree with nightshayde.
        That being said, we could send e-mails and make calls to these big companies (Universities?) and ask that higher-ups send letters/e-mails/make phone calls to their congress critters explaining (from an employer’s point of view) how discrimination is bad for business.

  • 37. Carpool Cookie  |  February 18, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I think it’s still a good idea to keep calls and letters going out, thanking those that have committed, and trying to bring in a few more. It would be best to have a few buffer votes in our favor, in case someone changes their mind or gets stuck in traffic on the day of the vote.

    But FANTASTIC news : )

  • 38. Bob  |  February 18, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Love the prop8 pole dancers,, can we take them on the road, sure we could get a lot of media attention with that show,

    indeed a happy happy dance,,,,, and much thanks for all those who took the time to contact Sen Rosapepe,,, it does help to make the contact ,,,,

    his e-mail says ” thanks for contacting me to let me know of your support…..I appreciate the time you and many other constituents have taken to share with me your reasons for supporting this bill”

    woot woot keep it up great news

  • 39. Richard A. Jernigan  |  February 18, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Go, Maryland! Now all we have to do is keep the truth flowing so that people will know to refuse NOM’s petition, which will be automatic once this is voted on and passes!

  • 40. NOM WORLD  |  February 18, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Maryland Constitution: “No law enacted by the General Assembly shall take effect until the first day of June next after the session at which it may be passed.”

    Does anyone know if petition signers names are made public in Maryland, or do the people get to put the rights of their fellow citizens up for vote in secret white hoods?

    • 41. nightshayde  |  February 18, 2011 at 9:45 am

      Does that mean June 2012?

      • 42. AnonyGrl  |  February 18, 2011 at 9:48 am

        No, this June. Unless they get 55,000 signatures to put it on a ballot, in which case, it goes to a vote in November 2012, I think.

        • 43. nightshayde  |  February 18, 2011 at 9:49 am

          Ooooh. June 2011 is soon!

          • 44. karen in kalifornia  |  February 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm

            I suppose the Governor will postpone signing the law til the last minute so that June 1st falls within the 90 day signature gathering timeframe thereby allowing some marriages to go ahead. :) Best take possible.

          • 45. AnonyGrl  |  February 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

            I would bet that there are people out right NOW collecting signatures, just in case… so that window probably won’t exist, but I LOVE the idea that it might!

        • 46. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 18, 2011 at 10:40 am

          couldn’t our side also do a petition to get more signatures telling them not to put it on the ballot?

          • 47. AnonyGrl  |  February 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

            That would be lovely… but no, I don’t think it works that way.

          • 48. Dave in ME  |  February 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm

            If this is anything like the Maine, the law must first be signed before the petitions start. The wording of the petition must also be approved by a state official-I am not sure who it would be in Maryland.

            Also, the pro-marriage equality people cannot petition because the question is whether to vote on whether or not to approve (or reject? Maine was reject) the new law. If the state receives the required number of signatures, then that’s that. There will be a vote. I am no expert, but I don’t think that there is any sort of counteracting movement that can be made to not allow a vote when the people have demonstrated that they want a vote.

            Dave in Maine

    • 49. adambink  |  February 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      It’s very possible and, in some quarters, even likely that this goes to the ballot a la Maine after passage. So there are two fights on our hand.

      • 50. up&Adam  |  February 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm

        How is this signature gathering process conducted? Is it going house to house? standing on the street corner? soliciting airline arrivals? Do we have anything in place where we could legally monitor these signature gatherers to make sure they are doing it legitimately? Can we video them to make sure they are not asking someone to sign a petition to help out returning Iraq or Afghanistan veterans? These people are likely to do anything necessary to reach that 55,000 person goal?

        • 51. Straight Dave  |  February 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm

          That’s exactly what happened in MA. You need to be very skeptical and vigilant about signature gathering. Back when people were trying to drum up a Prop-8-like amendment to overturn SSM in MA, there was a whole scandal about it, the TV people got involved in exposing it.

          There are professional signature gathering companies out there. They get paid by how many they get, so there’s an incentive for mischief. They, in turn, hire enthusiastic young people and pay them per sig.

          What happened was that they had 2 petitions on one clipboard, the first for selling wine in supermarkets, which everyone favored. This was legitimate. Then they would flip up half the page and ask you to sign a 2nd “backup petition”, but the top half of that page was covered up to obscure its actual description of rescinding SSM. Everyone’s in a hurry, they aren’t skeptical, don’t sense a scam so they go ahead and sign again.

          In some areas where SSM was heavily favored, they actually told people the petition was to preserve SSM. Unless you read all the wording carefully, you might not realize it was just the opposite. They loaded up on inappropriate signatures there. A lot of this was caught on film and one of the gatherers ratted out the operation. Some people ended up signing affidavits that their signatures should be considered illegitimate since they were taken by fraud. The amendment failed to advance in the legislature’s constitutional convention, so we dodged a bullet.

          Money can make anything happen, which NOM has no scruples about abusing. The good citizens of MD should carefully watch what goes on with petitions this Spring and be prepared to call them out right in the street if there is any funny business. By raising a loud ruckus, you will also cause others to shy away from the whole situation. There’s nothing illegal about bringing attempted fraud to the attention of the public.

  • 52. Sagesse  |  February 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Maryland will be an honourable win. If it is stayed, it is still a win.


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