Breaking News: Sponsor of SSM Bill in MD Switches Sides, Will Vote "No"


Gay marriage advocates are expressing increasing concern that the vote in the Maryland State House, which was expected to be easy, is in jeopardy.

Case in point? One of the co-sponsors of the bill, Del. Melvin Stukes, just switched sides, saying "I'm very sorry I got on that bill."

You may recall during the senate fight that a single senator switching sides (and condemning his fellow citizens as bigots) produced headlines and was top news on WABC radio.

Here a black Democrat from Baltimore actually withdraws his sponsorship, and a once-"certain" victory now appears uncertain and ... radio silence from the mainstream media.

To find out what is actually happening in this marriage fight you have two choices: read the gay press. Or come to NOM.

Excerpt from the Washington Blade (a leading gay paper):

"But officials with the statewide LGBT advocacy group Equality Maryland expressed concern that an expected vote on the bill in the House of Delegates within the next two weeks appears much closer than originally expected.

Backers said that as of this week, the number of delegates who have publicly declared their support for the bill was just short of the 71 votes needed in the 141-member House.

“There’s an effort to derail this bill like none I’ve seen before,” said gay State Sen. Richard Madaleno (D-Montgomery County), the author and one of the lead sponsors of the marriage equality bill in the Senate.

In a telephone news briefing on Friday, Madaleno said the mainstream media have repeatedly reported an earlier assumption that support for the bill was greater in the House than in the Senate, and approval of the measure in the Senate guaranteed its passage in the House.

With opponents, including the Maryland Catholic Conference and the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage, applying enormous pressure on wavering delegates, Madaleno and Equality Maryland officials said support in the House might be in jeopardy.

A warning signal that support in the House could diminish surfaced earlier in the week when Del. Melvin Stukes (D-Baltimore City), a co-sponsor of the marriage bill for the past four years, withdrew his sponsorship.

Stukes told the Baltimore Sun he thought the bill would have given same-sex couples the right to obtain civil unions rather than marriage. Once he realized the measure would allow gays to marry he determined he made a mistake, he told the Sun.

“I’m very sorry that I got on the bill,” he said." (