The Maryland Republican Party was working overtime this weekend, urging residents to pressure state senators into voting against a bill legalizing gay marriage, which is expected to come up for debate this week.
Although a vote in the full Senate is expected to be close, proponents of marriage equality are confident they have the 24 votes necessary to pass the bill, and as recent as Thursday, leadership of both parties predicted the bill’s passage.
But on Saturday, the GOP leadership began sending emails to conservative voters, encouraging them to call senators and tell them to “defend traditional marriage.”
In an “action alert” emailed Saturday to party members, state GOP Chairman Alex X. Mooney lists the names and numbers of nine senators he suggests are key to whether Maryland legalizes marriages between gay couples.
“There is still time to put pressure on your state senator, but we must act now,” Mooney, a former state senator from Frederick County, says in the email. “It is urgent that you contact your state senator immediately to tell them to vote no on the assault on traditional marriage.”
All nine senators listed in Mooney’s email are Democrats, and of the nine, six have already publicly voiced support for the marriage equality bill.
Noticeably absent from the list was Sen. Allan H. Kittleman (R-Howard), the only Republican in the chamber who has voiced support for the bill.
Gov. Martin O’Malley has said he would sign the bill if passed by the legislature.