State Marriage Watch: Marriage Bills To Be Introduced In Maryland, New York

Legislation expanding marriage to gays and lesbians will soon be introduced in Maryland and New York, while couples will continue to be able to marry in Washington D.C, where opponents failed to convince the Supreme Court to hear a case that would have submitted the district’s marriage law to a popular vote. Meanwhile, an anti-marriage initiative is advancing in Wyoming and conservatives are continuing to rally against marriage equality in Iowa. Here is the latest instillation of State Marriage Watch:

— MARYLAND: Maryland State Senator Rich Madaleno told On Top Magazine that “a gay marriage bill will be introduced in the Maryland Senate this week.” The website notes that previous attempts to legalize gay unions have “suffered setbacks in the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee, but new assignments have boosted the number of supporters on the 11-member panel to six, paving the way for such a bill to reach the Democrat-controlled Senate floor.”

— NEW YORK: The New York Daily News is reporting that New York State Senator Thomas Duane will introduce a same-sex marriage bill “within weeks” and will push for a vote before June. Although a similar bill was soundly defeated in the Senate in 2009, “Duane and other supporters believe Gov. Cuomo’s support can finally tilt the political landscape.” Cuomo also recently named Erik Bottcher, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s liaison to the gay community, “to the newly created cabinet post of special assistant for community affairs.”

— WYOMING: A bill prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriages performed outside of the state is advancing. On Monday, the House Education Committee passed the bill in a vote of 7-2. The legislation “now must pass three votes by the full House before it would head to the Senate.” “Though similar bills failed in 2007 and 2009, many legislators and gay-marriage opponents think they have the votes this year to pass HB74 as well as a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage,” the Billings Gazette reports.

— WASHINGTON DC: Today, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from same-sex marriage opponents hoping to put the marriage law up for a vote. The District’s board of elections had argued that the ballot would “violate the city’s Human Rights Act, which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

— IOWA: The Iowa Conservative Alliance and the Iowa Tea Party held a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa Saturday afternoon and heard speeches from “Rep. Kim Pearson, R-Pleasant Hill, and former Republican state representative and current Family Leader lobbyist Danny Carroll.” “Two women and one man. If you’re bisexual should you have the right to marry? What about two men getting married because it’s convenient for their business,” Carroll said. “Where does it go?” The speakers called on “Senate Majority Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, to allow Senate floor debate on a gay marriage ban resolution,” which is expected to pass the Republican-controlled state house. Pearson, along with two other Republicans in the House, is also drafting a measure to impeach the remaining state Supreme Court justices who joined a 2009 ruling which brought marriage to the state.

For a complete overview of the latest developments in the marriage battleground states of Rhode Island, Maryland, New York, California, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Wyoming, Iowa, and New Mexico, click here.