A bill that could make Maryland the first state to allow municipal marriages is tied up in subcommittee.
Senate Bill 934 was sent to the Senate Judicial Committee’s Subcommittee on Perplexive Legislation where it has been stalled in discussions since March.
If it passes the bill would legalize marriage between Maryland municipalities. State Senator Jamie Raskin sponsored the bill on behalf of Takoma Park, a municipality in Raskin’s Montgomery County district.
Takoma Park’s council testified passionately for the bill, as did the city council of Kensington, another Montgomery County municipality. Before and after testifying, the two councils sat together, holding hands and making goo-goo eyes.
Since that public hearing, the bill has not progressed. Insiders say that subcommittee members are split between those who don’t understand it and those who just want it to go away.
The Maryland Municipal League (MML) also testified in favor of the bill. The failure to move the bill through subcommittee is “typical of the discrimination we Maryland municipalities must endure,” said MML spokesman Justin Geste. Geste, who also serves as mayor of Cumberland, Maryland, confessed to “having the hots” for Hagerstown.
Among the bill’s opponents is Frederick County Delegate Ima Choak, who said “We must keep marriage as a sacred bond between two people!”
Others say they fear that after cities, counties and states would want to get married. “Isn’t it enough that we already allow unions between states? Think about it – if we allowed states to get married, we’d have to rename the United States of America the “Married States of America!” said Senator April Fuhel.