Main | Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MARYLAND: GOP Leader Steps Down Over Backlash For Civil Unions Support

Maryland state Sen. Allen Kittleman has announced that he will step down as GOP minority leader over criticism he's received for sponsoring a civil unions bill.
The decision by Sen. Allan H. Kittleman (R-Howard County) came two weeks after he announced plans to sponsor legislation allowing civil unions in Maryland for both same-sex and heterosexual couples. Kittleman's position put him at odds with many Republican colleagues, who told him during a closed-door meeting last week that they were distressed by his civil-unions bill and would not be supporting the legislation, according to participants. Kittleman said he decided over the weekend that the other 11 GOP senators in the 47-member Senate should have a leader who is "more conservative than I am on social issues." "I don't want to have them worry every time I get on the floor, 'What is he going to say?' " Kittleman explained, adding that the decision gives him "the freedom to be who I am, to champion issues I really care about without worrying about stepping on anyone's toes."
Some time this year Maryland is expected to become the next state to legalize same-sex marriage and anti-gay activists are already working towards putting the issue up for repeal on the 2012 ballot, the earliest they can make such a move. Kittleman's proposed civil unions bill is probably meant as a compromise.

(Via - AmericaBlog)

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