Beleaguered Maryland Delegate Sam Arora
has walked it back on gay marriage, saying he'll support the measure,
but adding that he wants voters to decide the issue.
The freshman lawmaker rode into the
House of Delegates on the support of progressive Democrats and
gay-friendly groups to whom he pledged his support for marriage
But as the vote drew near in the House
Judiciary Committee – of which he is a member – Arora
began to waffle on the issue, creating a storm of protest from former
supporters who denounced his wavering.
campaign promises that you don't intend to keep, for the sole purpose
of raking-in donations from Progressive and LGBT-friendly voters, you
represent the worst in American politics. Enjoy your one term,”
Zach Stewart wrote on Facebook.
On Friday, Arora
said in a statement that he would vote for the bill on the House
floor, but added that he had “wrestled” with his decision.
“I have heard
from constituents, friends, and advocates from across the spectrum of
views and have thought about the issue of same-sex marriage
extensively,” Arora wrote. “As the vote drew nearer, I wrestled
with this issue in a way I never had before, which led me to realize
that I had some concerns about the bill.”
personally believe that Maryland should extend civil rights to
same-sex couples through civil unions, I have come to the conclusion
that this issue has such impact on the people of Maryland that they
should have a direct say. I will vote to send the bill to the floor
because it deserves an up-or-down vote. On the floor, I will vote to
send the bill to the governor so that Marylanders can ultimately
decide this issue at the polls. I think that is appropriate.”
The statement isn't
likely to mollify former supporters who were led to believe that
Arora was a gay marriage, not civil unions, supporter.
In response to a
questionnaire from Equality Maryland, the 30-year-old Arora said he
“praised” Attorney General Doug Gansler's decision to recognize
the out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
“For me, it's
simply a mater of equal rights under the law,” he wrote.
messaged his Twitter followers proudly boasting of his co-sponsorship
of the gay marriage bill, and didn't show support for a civil unions
bill briefly floated by Republican Senator Allan Kittleman.