Maryland Senate Advances Same-Sex Marriage Bill, Rejects Most Radical Amendments

Maryland’s same-sex marriage legislation passed a second reading this afternoon in a vote of 25-22, paving the way for final approval later this week. Below are just some of the most interesting amendments that were either passed or rejected:

Religious institutions would not have to engage in “the promotion of marriage, through religious programs, counseling, educational courses, summer camps, and retreats, in violation of the entity’s religious beliefs.” ADOPTED.

– “Fraternal benefit societies” can deny admission to or provide insurance benefits to an individual under certain circumstances. ADOPTED.

Adoption agencies can discriminate against couples based on their religious beliefs. Supporters of marriage argued that the broad language in this amendment would allow agencies to exclude interracial or inter-religious couples. REJECTED.

– Small businesses can deny services to gay couples based on a religious objection. WITHDRAWN.

Public officials can opt out of performing same-sex marriages. REJECTED.

Teachers cannot be required to discuss, teach, condone or promote same-sex marriages based on their religious beliefs. REJECTED.

To take out “Religious Freedom and” from the title of the bill. ADOPTED.

For a complete list of amendments, click here.