Meanwhile the press and the pols were shocked this week to find suddenly that black Dems were jumping ship.
Melvin Stukes (a black Democrat from Baltimore), a co-sponsor of the bill, pulled out. When the leadership, realizing public support was evaporating, moved to push for a committee vote quickly--all of a sudden at least two black Dems from normally “progressive” districts simply could not be found.
One, Del. Jill Carter, expressed a deep underlying resentment about the priorities of the Democratic leadership in pushing this bill urgently--by holding out for more education spending for her district in exchange for her vote. Another, Del. Tiffany Alston, says she is struggling with her personal religious beliefs and the outpouring of concern by constituents.
The gay press is calling their reservations “Shameful!” and even the Baltimore Sun oddly accused them of bringing the house “into disrepute” for doing normal legislative things like bargaining for the good of their own districts.
As I write in the middle of this fast-changing situation, Del. Carter says the House leadership is lying about her and they are still at least two votes short of being able to ram that bill through.