The news out of Annapolis is not great. Today the same-sex marriage bill eked out of committee by a 12-10 vote, and it goes to the full General Assembly. Where once passage seemed assured, now it is on very shaky grounds. The worst part is that it has nearly derailed not by Republican thugs, but by so-called allies. First one delegate from Baltimore, a co-sponsor of the bill, walks out of committee to basically blackmail her fellow Democrats into doing what she wanted (money for schools, or whatever.) Then another one from Prince George County decided she’s not sure if she should vote for it. Then, and the weirdest of them all, a Montgomery County delegate, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat from the bluest of blue areas this side of Cambridge, Massachusetts, decided he found Jesus and could not vote for the bill. This is of course after he campaigned by promising to vote for same-sex marriage and taking money and endorsements from the LGBT community and LGBT organizations. Then after an enormous (and expected) backlash, he voted for the bill in committee and said he would vote it when it comes for the floor for the full vote. It’s not going to save him; his career is over.
Assuming that the bill survives (which is now doubtful thanks to our “friends”) Maryland has a referendum process similar to Maine’s. Even though the polls suggest that most Marylanders favor same-sex marriage, it is not a vote I look forward to.
So to recap, regardless of how the vote turns out, Maryland (and really all American) gays and lesbians have been betrayed by people who claim to be allies. Because these allies don’t think our civil rights are really that important after all. It’s an unfortunate and harsh reminder that in the end, we have very few friends out there, and even fewer who would put aside their own personal interests to do the right thing.