UPDATED: Marriage bill now has 22 23 of the 24 supporters needed in Maryland Senate

UPDATE @ 5:24 PM: The magic number is down to one. Another Maryland Senator is on board:

Sen. Katherine Klausmeier said today that she has decided to vote in favor of same-sex marriage, putting the measure within a breath of passage in the Senate.

“I just weighed all of the options,” said the Baltimore County Democrat, who earlier told The Sun that she was torn about the issue. “It’s about fairness.”

It is about fairness. This sure feels like momentum.
_____________________
Some good news today in Maryland, via the Maryland Politics blog at the Baltimore Sun:

Sen. Edward Kasemeyer said this afternoon that he will support the controversial same-sex marriage bill, giving the measure 22 of the 24 votes it would need to clear the senate.

Kasemeyer, a Democrat who represents Howard and Baltimore counties, had not previously said how he planned to vote on the bill. Many had believed he would not support it because he represents a conservative area.

His pledge means there are five senators who either have not decided how they will vote or have declined to share their position publicly. (See full vote list after the jump. [posted below])

This year changes in a key senate panel delivered advocates the best chance they’ve ever had to legalize same-sex marriage. They believe that they have the 29 votes needed to cut off debate in the chamber and vote. The bill is expected to be voted out of committee this Thursday.

So, Senate Committee vote this week, then a floor vote in the full Senate next week. There’s intense lobbying underway at the State House in Annapolis. Equality Maryland is holding a lobby day this evening. If you live in Maryland, make your calls.

Here’s the UPDATED list of Senators the Baltimore Sun considers undecided:

No public position/Undecided

Sen. John Astle, Anne Arundel County Democrat
Sen. James Brochin, Baltimore County Democrat (supports)
Sen. Joan Carter Conway, Baltimore Democrat
Sen. Ulysses Currie, Prince George’s County Democrat
Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, Baltimore and Howard counties Democrat (supports)
Sen. Katherine Klausmeier, Baltimore County Democrat
Sen. James Rosapepe, Prince George’s County Democrat

Also, the Senate President, Mike Miller (D) is a NO vote.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet

D.C.: SCOTUS protects marriage (no quotation marks needed)

Good news for D.C.:

Bishop Harry Jackson’s appeal to the Supreme Court to let D.C. residents vote on marriage equality, which was approved there last year, has been rejected by the Supreme Court, the AP reports

SCOTUS REJECTS APPEAL FROM SAME-SEX MARRIAGE OPPONENTS IN D.C. [Towle]

Screen Shot 2011-01-18 At 10.51.58 Am

And with that, the last D.C. ditch is in Jackson/NOM’s rear view mirror. But don’t you dare think they’re planning to drive off into the sunset.




Good As You

—  admin

Your Support Needed in New 2011 Landscape

Remember all those anti-gay candidates who ran for office this year? As of yesterday, dozens of them are now members of Congress and the House of Representatives is under their control.

And starting now, the voices of people like you are more important than ever – because if right-wing leaders know how many Americans support equality, they’ll understand the political consequences of their hate.

To ensure they get the message, we’re launching a huge effort in Congress and across the country to stop discriminatory federal legislation and local anti-marriage efforts – through grassroots pressure, rapid-response media, and public education – and to make sure our kids don’t think it’s wrong or evil to be who they are, just because a bigoted member of Congress might say so.

To do it, we need 2,011 people like you to join HRC for 2011 in the next three weeks.

This is the civil rights battle of our generation. Be one of 2,011 new members to join HRC for 2011.

We closed last year with a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal victory 17 years in the making. 2011 opens with a new, more conservative, more deeply anti-gay House leadership – helmed by right-wingers John Boehner and Eric Cantor. Together, they tried to stop us from repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” They’ve opposed legislation on hate crimes, employment non-discrimination, responsible HIV/AIDS policy, and relationship recognition. And they just became very powerful.

But we don’t intend to just play defense.

We can’t – and won’t — stop fighting to make sure all people get to marry the person they love, raise kids together, and have a family that’s protected by the same laws as everyone else. That’s why we’re working to repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, fight for marriage equality in the states, and ensure the freedom to marry for ALL Americans, gay or straight. Help now »

We can’t stop working to reduce bullying in schools or in communities of faith. We can’t stop getting corporations to improve their policies for LGBT employees. And we can’t stop exposing hateful groups like the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). This week, we forced NOM to release its tax returns and found that 75 percent of its funding comes from just five big donors. You can help »

And we cannot give up fighting for a fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. In 29 states, you can still be fired for your sexual orientation. In 38 states, you can be fired for your gender identity. Fired – just for being who you are. That has to end. Help get there »

Over 85 percent of our funding comes from individuals like you, NOT from foundations or grants – so stand with us in 2011 and make a real difference in the civil rights battle of our time.

There’s one thing that won’t change in 2011: We’ll still rely on you, and you’ll still make amazing things possible. Join HRC now!


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

TAKE ACTION: Mormon Leader Chooses Homophobia When Compassion is Needed

Many of us are familiar with the struggle that so many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens face. Anti-LGBT bullying in schools is out of control and has led to a number of recent teen suicides.

Yet a top Mormon Church apostle has chosen this precise moment to broadcast a message of intolerance to millions.

Boyd K. Packer, the second-highest Mormon leader, said same-sex attraction is “impure and unnatural” and can be overcome, and that same-sex unions are morally wrong and “against God’s law and nature.”

Please add your name to our open letter showing the Mormon Church hierarchy that it has risked further alienating vulnerable LGBT youth with potentially devastating consequences – and after you sign the letter, please post it on Facebook and share it with your friends so people everywhere know that these views are scientifically wrong and misguided.

Never was there a time where compassion was needed more, but instead Mr. Packer chose to use his twice-a-year address to spew anti-LGBT remarks.  The kids deserve better.

View the email and add your name to the petition here.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

CALL TO ACTION: Senate Votes Needed To Break McCain DADT Filibuster

Joint post by Louise and Keori

Blenders, we’ve come down to the “Final Assault” on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Harry Reid has filed for cloture on the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains an amendment for DADT repeal. The vote to break the planned Republican filibuster will be on Tuesday afternoon. There are still a few undecideds/unknowns on this issue, and we desperately need your help to push this through.

Call your senators NOW and spread the word.


SENATE VOTE VERY TIGHT: For repeal to happen advocates need one more vote to break John McCain’s filibuster.  All supporters must call their senators now.

KEY SENATORS UNCOMMITTED ON BREAKING THE FILIBUSTER:

–Susan Collins (R-ME)

–Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

–Mark Pryor (D-Ark.);

–Richard Lugar (R-IN);

–Judd Gregg (R-NH);

–Jim Webb (D-VA)

–George Voinovich (R-OH)

Susan Collins D.C. office: (202) 224-2523

Susan Collins Augusta, ME office: (207) 622-8414

Olympia Snowe toll-free number: (800) 432-1599

Olympia Snowe Augusta, ME office: (207) 622-8292

Mark Pryor D.C. office: (202) 224-2353

Mark Pryor Little Rock, AR office: (501) 324-6336

Richard Lugar D.C. office: (202) 224-4814

Richard Lugar Indianapolis, IN office: (317) 226-5555

Judd Gregg D.C. office: (202) 224-3324

Judd Gregg Concord, NH office: (603) 225-7115

Jim Webb D.C. office: 202-224-4024

Jim Webb Richmond, VA office: 804-771-2221

George Voinovich D.C. office: (202) 224-3353

George Voinovich Columbus, OH office: (614) 469-6697

Call your Senators and tell them the following:

OPPOSE a motion to strike the DADT repeal amendment from the National Defense Authorization Act.

OPPOSE any replacement or substitute repeal amendment

OPPOSE any attempt to modify the repeal amendment in the bill

OPPOSE any filibuster attempt

SUPPORT final passage of the bill

****REMEMBER**** Any attempt to modify the repeal amendment, such as by expanding “certification,” IS AN ATTEMPT TO KILL THE DADT REPEAL AMENDMENT.

Come on, Blenders! Let’s help consign this hideous, cruel policy to the trash bin of history!  
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright