After two days of contentious debate and the consideration of several amendments, the Maryland House of Delegates has passed marriage equality legislation with a vote of 72-67. One of the amendments passed delayed the date of enactment from October to January. Another created a non-severability clause, such that if the religious protections are overturned by the courts, the entire law would have to be deemed invalid. The measure still has to advance through the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and full Senate, and even then, it is likely to be challenged by a referendum. Listen to the final vote:
Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) responds: “Today, the House of Delegates voted for human dignity. Speaker Busch and his fellow Delegates deserve a lot of credit for their hard work. At its heart, their vote was a vote for Maryland’s children….Now, as the Senate prepares to vote, all of us are needed – and we’re prepared to redouble our efforts. The common thread running through our efforts together in Maryland is the thread of human dignity; the dignity of work, the dignity of faith, the dignity of family, the dignity of every individual. Love is an unalienable right.”
Delegate Sam Arora (D), who ran on a pro-marriage platform, voted against the measure.