The state of Maryland was poised to legalize gay marriage but it appears that the congratulatory champagne corks were popped a bit prematurely. Thought to be a virtual shoe-in when introduced in the Democratic controlled Maryland legislature, the gay marriage bill may now be headed for an unexpected demise in the House Judicial Committee.
Earlier this week, the Maryland Senate passed the bill by a 4-vote margin. The bill was then expected to be rushed through committee in the House and then voted on and approved by the controlling House Democrats. The Democratic Governor, Martin O’Malley, was eager to sign the bill into law.
But there has been fierce opposition to the same-sex marriage bill in Maryland and much of that pushback is coming from African-American clergymen. The pressure from their black constituents explains why two Democratic House Delegates who were supposed to vote yeah this week decided to absent themselves from the crucial committee vote. The fate of the bill is now up in the air as the Democratic leadership tries to regroup.
And Maryland isn’t the only Blue State up against strong opposition to proposed gay marriage legislation. In Rhode Island, the same last-minute pushback scenario is being played out. With a supportive Governor and an openly gay House Speaker, the gay marriage bill was expected to sail through the legislature with nary a discouraging word. Instead, opponents of the bill have been doing some heavy behind-the-scenes lobbying that has resulted in the bill getting yanked by the openly gay House Speaker.
It seems the same-sex wedding proponents have been counting their chicks long before they’re ready to hatch. And even in those big Blue states, the gay marriage political marathon might just end up laying one very big egg.