Friday, March 11, 2011

House Continues Marriage Equality Debate in Afternoon

12:10pm: Del. Peter Murphy (D-Charles) gently corrects a previous speaker who said that there are six openly gay and lesbian legislators. "There are seven." Del. Murphy received a standing ovation from his colleagues and the galleries.

12:12pm Del. from Anne Arundel talking about economic costs and benefits and "why we subsidize traditional marriage: procreation." "Other relationships be it two elderly sisters, a same-sex couple, or three college professors living together, those relationships are no business of the State and don't benefit society broadly and therefore don't warrant subsidization by the State."

Who knew that marriage was about fiscal policy? Talk about defining it down!

12:17 Del. Kieffer Mitchell: "This issue pains me because it has divided this body and some relationships this entire week. My commitment to this body after it's all said and done iss that I will do everything in my power to bring us all back together."

"there has been a lot of debate about it being a civil rights issue." "I do know that he [Clarence Mitchell] knew that all Americans should be treated equally under the law." "There is no way I would compare this to the Civil Rights Movement but it is a civil rights issue. When we as a State deny people equal protection under the law, it is a civil rights issue."

"John Lewis said: 'we are now at such a crossroads over the right of same-sex couples to marry. Their exclusion officially degrades them and denies them the right to marry the person they love and denies numerous legal protections for families. Our rights of Americans do not depend on the approval of others. . . "

Now Kieffer is quoting Julian Bond who urged the General Assembly to pass the bill and sees it as a matter of "civil rights and equal treatment before the law."

"I stand here in clear conscience, mind, and heart that this is the right thing to do for our seven colleagues and that theis the right thing to do for all of us, for Marylanders and for Americans."

"I'm going to vote yes for Lisa and Gita, for my neighbors Dan and Bill, for our colleagues, for the unseen generations who will say what was all the fuss about? I vote green."