Fairness for All Marylanders Act Passes Senate

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act (FAMA) easily passed the Senate on a 32-15. Sponsored by Sen. Rich Madaleno (D 18) and strongly supported by floor leader Sen. Jamie Raskin (D 20), the bill protects the rights of transgender Marylanders.

The bill was earlier amended by the Senate to strengthen it after it had been weakened, though passed, by the Judicial Proceedings Committee. The bill now heads over to the House of Delegates, which has passed versions of this legislation in previous sessions.

The passage of marriage equality and then the referendum vote by the people of Maryland in favor of it seems to have taken the sting out of LGBT legislation. There is a lot lest angst about voting for this relatively straightforward anti-discrimination bill now that the tide has turned on the LGBT issue which attracts the most press.

Sen. Kittleman (R 9, Howard) was the only Republican to vote yes. Four Democrats voted no: Sens. Astle (D 30, Anne Arundel), De Grange (D 32, Anne Arundel), Dyson (D 29, Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s), and Mathias (D 38, Somerset, Wicomico, Worcester).

Kittleman voted for the marriage bill and is probably the Republican who represents the most pro-marriage Republican district, as Howard voted strongly for marriage equality. More surprising are the no votes by two Anne Arundel Democrats. Anne Arundel also voted for marriage equality, and presumably more strongly in areas prone to elect Democrats.

The no votes by two Democrats hailing from southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore shock less. Marriage equality lost in both of their districts, though with more support than one might expect. Here is how the Senate voted:

YEA: Miller, Benson, Brochin, Conway, Currie, Feldman, Ferguson, Forehand, Frosh, Gladden, Jones-Rodwell, Kasemeyer, Kelley, King, Kittleman (R), Klausmeier, Madaleno, Manno, McFadden, Middleton, Montgomery, Muse, Peters, Pinsky, Pugh, Ramirez, Raskin, Robey, Rosapepe, Stone, Young, Zirkin.

NAY: Astle (D), Brinkley, Colburn, De Grange (D), Dyson (D), Edwards, Getty, Glassman, Hershey, Jacobs, Jennings, Mathias (D), Reilly, Shank, Simonaire.