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“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for February, 2012

Maryland House Passes Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

February 17th, 2012

The Maryland House of Delegates this afternoon passed the Civil Marriage Protection Act by a vote of 71-67. The bill now goes to the Senate. I don’t have a breakdown of the vote, but will try to get it as soon as I can.

Update: Washington Blade’s Phil Reese adds:

Del. Tiffany Alston’s (D-Prince George’s) vote in favor of the bill proved critical to its passage. Del. Sam Arora (D-Mont. Co.), a former supporter of the bill, voted against it.

Alston’s opposition last year played a key role in sinking a similar bill, as was Sam Arora’s, whose turncoat opposition outraged many LGBT constituents in Montgomery County who worked for his election on his promise to support marriage equality. He even co-sponsored the bill when it was introduced, only to turn his back on his constituents and abruptly announce his opposition to his own bill.

Update: [tk] The official vote count has been amended to be 72-67. Also a late amendment set the effective date back from October to January 2013, at the request of Delegate Wade Kach, (R-Baltimore County). I assume that Kach did not want the change to go into effect immediately before the voters went to the polls.

How Do You Define “Arora”?

A commentary

Jim Burroway

March 3rd, 2011

Benedict Arnold’s name has become an adjective. How do you define Arora?

The lead sponsor of the marriage bill in Maryland’s House of Delegates was also the first person to endorse Del. Sam Arora (D-Montgomery County) in his 2010 election. Now, however, Del. Kumar Barve (D-Montgomery County), says that Arora’s decision to vote against the bill is “a shock.”

“I don’t know what to think,” Barve tells Metro Weekly this evening of Arora’s decision to vote against the marriage bill that he once co-sponsored, once it makes its way to the House floor, something Barve says Arora told him personally.

“He told me that he was going to vote against it on the floor,” Barve says. “I’ve been in the legislature for quite a while and nothing is a reality until you actually push the button. And these are hard issues. But he came to me and told me that he was having difficulty with the concept of it.”

Democrats control the Maryland House with a 98-43 majority, yet the marriage equality bill’s sponsors are having a tough time coming up with the votes to pass it the bill. Part of the problem is with people like Arora, who had not only co-sponsored the bill, but campaigned (and accepted campaign donations) on the promise that he would support marriage equality. He even earned the support of Maryland Equality in the past election, where he wrote this addendum on their questionnaire:

I am a former law clerk to Attorney General Doug Gansler. I publicly supported his decision to recognize out-of-state marriage licenses for same-sex couples and immediately put out a release praising his findings. For me, it’s simply a matter of equal rights under the law.

But now that he’s been elected, all that has changed. He not only says that he will vote against it, but he is trying to wipe out his previous boasts that he was a co-sponsor. His facebook friends aren’t having it (John Aravosis saved a few choice responses in case Arora decides to “Arora” his facebook page as well.) Meanwhile, campaign donors are demanding refunds from the moral coward who lied through his teeth to get elected.

Here is his contact info. You know what to do.

Twitter: @Sam_Arora
(410) 841-3528, (301) 858-3528
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3528 (toll free)
fax: (410) 841-3011, (410) 841-3528, (301) 858-3528, (240) 245-0018

Now, about that definition of “Arora”… (I’m relaxing enforcement of our comments policy for this post only. Simply because Arora deserves it.)