Wyoming is moving even further away from its ‘Equality State’ slogan, having just advanced another anti-marriage initiative through the Senate. Meanwhile, Maryland is pushing forward same-sex marriage legislation with substantial public support. All that and more in today’s State Marriage Watch:
- WYOMING: The AP is reporting that the Wyoming Senate has passed a bill that would allow voters to decide whether the state should recognize same-sex marriages. The Senate voted 21-7 on Tuesday in favor of a resolution, which will face “two more votes in the Senate before it can advance to the House for debate.” Yesterday, the Wyoming House passed House Bill 74 — banning the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere — by a vote of 32-27. That measure is now also in the Senate.
- HAWAII: The Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 232, civil unions legislation that is identical to the measure vetoed last year by former Governor Lisa Lingle, by a vote of 3-2 vote. “The bill now goes to the Senate floor for the second of three required votes by the full chamber.” A separate measure, SB 231, would accomplish the same goal, but includes various administrative clarifications. A House version of the civil unions bill has not yet been introduced, but may come as soon as tomorrow. Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) has said he will sign such legislation.
- MARYLAND: This morning, Equality Maryland and House Majority Leader Kumar Barve introduced the House version of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, a measure to expand marriage to gays and lesbians. A Senate version was introduced last week. Meanwhile, a new poll finds that “51 percent of voters say they would favor a law in Maryland allowing same-sex couples to marry, while 44 percent opposed such a law and 5 percent gave no response.” These results are significant since, anti-marriage activists have promised to place the question on the ballot if the bill becomes law.
- IOWA: A constitutional ban on gay marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships and any other legal recognition of same-sex couples “cleared the Iowa House Judiciary Committee Monday, setting the stage for a public hearing next week.” The Iowa Independent reports that 12 Republicans and 1 Democrat — state Rep. Kurt Swaim of Bloomfield — voted in favor of House Joint Resolution 6. Eight Democrats voted against it. The measure is expected to pass the House, where Republicans have a majority of 60-40, but will likely stall in the Senate, where Democrats are have a two-seat advantage (26-24).
- DC: The Hill reported today that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC), has pledged to push for a vote that would ban gay marriage in the nation’s capital. Jordan had previously pledge to focus on economic issues.
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.