Former Vice President Dick Cheney, New
York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman are
lobbying Maryland lawmakers to approve a gay marriage bill, the
The Maryland House is expected to take
a final vote on the measure during a session that starts Friday at
Lawmakers approved two amendments to
the measure aimed at shoring up support. One amendment, approved
Thursday evening, pushed back the bill's effective date from October
to January, ensuring that gay nuptials do not begin until after the
November election. Opponents have vowed to put the issue up for a
public vote. The second amendment, passed on Friday, would block the
bill from taking effect until litigation over a repeal drive to the
law is settled.
Republican Delegate Wade Kach, who two
days earlier voted against the measure in committee, on Thursday
reversed course, saying he would vote for the bill.
Kach said Bloomberg, Cheney and Mehlman
had left voice mails asking for his support on the measure.
“I'm more interested in talking to my
constituents and my colleagues here,” Kach said. “I just didn't
call them back.”