A proposed bill that would make
Maryland the seventh state to legalize gay marriage will be heard in
two House committees, House Speaker Michael E. Busch announced on
According to The
Washington Post, the move could boost the bill's chances of
reaching the House floor.
The measure last year narrowly managed
to clear the Judicial Committee before it fizzled in the House.
With two panels voting on the bill, a
positive outcome in either could be used as justification to send the
legislation to the floor.
Opponents decried the move, accusing
Busch of “playing games.”
“This issue is way too important to
be playing games,” said House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell.
“I guess it shows a great lack of confidence in the Judiciary
Committee. I think that committee is capable of doing the job.”
Busch, a supporter of marriage
equality, said it made sense to have the Health and Government
Operations Committee look at the bill as well, but aides acknowledged
that the bill has a greater chance of passage in that committee.
“I think it clearly falls under the
jurisdiction of both committees,” Busch said, noting the
committee's past experience with civil rights legislation.
Maryland is the third state behind
Washington and New Jersey debating marriage equality this legislative
lawmakers will consider a civil unions bill.