In addition to conducting a high-profile campaign to promote his same-sex marriage bill publicly, Gov. Martin O’Malley has begun to privately exert his influence on a legislature that failed to pass a similar bill last year.
Delegate Michael D. Smigiel, Sr., R-Cecil, an opponent of same-sex marriage, said he walked in on a conversation between O’Malley and fellow House Judiciary Committee member Jill P. Carter, D-Baltimore, Tuesday evening. Carter stepped into the spotlight last year when she was notably absent for a key Judiciary Committee hearing in March before later voting for the legislation in committee.
Carter confirmed that she talked with the governor about same-sex marriage and other issues Tuesday, saying O’Malley’s involvement is a function of his stronger support for the legislation this year.
“After not doing anything to help it pass last year … he’s decided to champion it,” Carter said. “And I’m sure it’s a good political move.”
The governor’s press office confirmed that the conversation occurred and that it touched on the same-sex marriage bill, but aides would not discuss specifics.
“I know that, the governor, if he had the votes, he wouldn’t be out there twisting arms now,” Smigiel said after the governor’s State of the State address Wednesday. “So, the problem is down here you’re allowed a vote of conscience, as long as you got the votes. You don’t have the votes, you don’t have your vote of conscience.”