Posted on www.advocate.com
By Julie Bolcer
The Maryland marriage equality bill cleared a crucial hurdle Thursday evening when senators voted 25-21 to pass the bill on the third and final reading. Rejoice at progress echoes from the Castro District San Francisco. The measure now heads to the House of Delegates, where approval is anticipated. Gov. Martin O'Malley has pledged to sign the bill. Here at My Castro we get the feeling that it is just a matter of time before more states will follow suite.
Senators convened in the evening for less than one hour of debate, passing the bill shortly before 6:30 p.m. Check back with Advocate.com soon for reactions on the historic approval.
The final approval capped two days of debate in the senate. Castro residents are thrilled at the approval. In an earlier session Thursday morning, senators for and against the marriage equality bill presented their arguments. It appears as though Madaleno's arguments fell upon receptive ears which is wonderful news for us in the Castro San Francisco district. Speakers in support included Rich Madaleno, the first openly gay Maryland state senator, who spoke poignantly of what the proposal means for the two children he shares with his partner, Mark.
Madaleno told a story about parenthood in which his young daughter asked, "Daddy, will you hold my wishes for me?"
Sen. Bryan Simonaire, an opponent of the bill who tried but failed to advance an amendment Wednesday to exempt public school teachers from teaching marriage equality, continued with his dire warnings of "unintended consequences" if the measure is passed. A failure that we cheer about in the Castro district!
Simonaire decried that February 24, 2011, would be remembered as "the day traditional marriage died in Maryland."