The Maryland House of Delegates will not vote on a marriage equality bill today as expected, Gay Politics has learned. We’ll have updates as more information becomes available.
Media accounts leading up to today characterized the vote count as extremely close, with no one predicting a final outcome. What’s clear is anti-gay groups and religious organizations stepped up efforts to sway undecided Delegates in recent days, which may have lead supporters to ask that the bill be pulled from consideration until they were confident they could win.
UPDATE: Equality Maryland has issued a statement about today’s events, promising to continue to fight to pass the marriage equality bill:
It is best to delay this historic vote until we are absolutely sure we have the votes to win. We look forward to working strategically with our amazing allies in the legislature, and our supporters across the state, to continue to build support for, and win, marriage equality in the Free State.
A separate statement issued from the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, Equality Maryland and Gill Action read in part:
Already this year we have made tremendous progress toward winning the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Maryland. Successful votes in the full Senate and House committee show there is a strong and growing movement toward the freedom to marry. Over the past several days it has become clear that additional time to continue the marriage conversation in the state will better position the Civil Marriage Protection Act for success. By taking a bit more time, the majority of Marylanders who support the freedom to marry in the state will have the opportunity to have their voices heard by their legislators.