The panel had approved the bill by 7 votes against 4. The problem was then that, for religious reasons, catholic groups, opposed to homosexual marriage, refused to rent their halls for the celebrations.
Democrate JIM Rosapepe (pictured) said that he will vote in favor of the bill because it contains "a strengthened conscience clause to respect the views of religious denominations which do not recognize same sex marriage. "
He wrotes in an e-mail to his constituents:
Thanks for contacting me to let me know of your support for SB 116, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. I am writing to let you know that it was passed today by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and will be voted on the Senate floor next week. I intend to vote for the bill as it was reported out of Committee with a strengthened conscience clause to respect the views of religious denominations which do not recognize same sex marriage. I don’t know what other amendments may be proposed on the Senate floor but will keep your concerns in mind as we consider them. I appreciate so much the time you and many other constituents have taken to share with me your reasons for supporting the bill.
With his vote, there are the 24 votes which represents the sufficient number to subject the law to the vote of the Senate of Maryland.
Unfortunately, it has also another thing to take into account. The bill needs 29 votes to be not stopped by a filibuster. The supporters of this law do not think succeeded in having this number of votes before next week, before the filibuster is expected to take place on the Senate floor.