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

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"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 WITHDRAWN.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.

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