February 22, 2012

Senate delays debate on same-sex marriage bill

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Sen. Ed Reilly

Sen. Ed Reilly

The Maryland State Senate delayed debate on the same-sex marriage bill that cleared the Judicial Proceedings Committee yesterday until Thursday morning, but a final vote is still expected by Friday.

Discussion was limited in the Senate chamber on Wednesday. Minority Whip Edward Reilly, R-Anne Arundel, offered an amendment before motioning to lay over the bill to gain more time to prepare amendments. No vote was taken on Reilly’s amendment, which would reverse a key House amendment that changed the effective date of the bill from October to January 2013.

Sen. Jamie Raskin, D-Montgomery, the floor leader for the bill, said Reilly’s amendment was an attempt to kill the bill. If adopted, the amendment would force the bill to go back to the House, which passed the amended bill narrowly Friday by a 72-67 vote.

Senate President Mike Miller, D-Calvert, said he hopes to have a final vote concluded by Friday morning. The Senate will continue debate on amendments tomorrow morning and, if necessary, into the night.

Miller said he does not anticipate any senators have changed their stance on the issue. The Senate approved a similar bill last year 25-21.

—Justin Snow
Justin@MarylandReporter.com