by Annie Linskey
4:11 PM EST, February 15, 2012
Western Maryland Del. Patrick Hogan, who was the target of an intense lobbying campaign over the past few days, announced this afternoon that he will not support Gov. Martin O'Malley's same-sex marriage bill.
Hogan, a Repubilcan, had been undecided on the bill saying on Tuesday that he was "conflicted" about the bill. He said that he wanted to extend rights to gay couples, but was stuck on the term marriage.
Advocates for same-sex marriage delivered over 1,000 postcards to his office on Monday. And about 50 of his constituents came to meet with him urging support. But opponents also have focused attention on Hogan, sending out a blast email to their network urging people to get in touch with him.
It is unclear if vote-counters were depending on his support to reach the 71 needed for passage in the 141-member House of Delegates. The vote count appears very close, though a handful of delegates have not said what they will do on the bill.
In a statement released by his office this afternoon, the delegate he had been waiting to see if the legislation would be transformed into a civil unions bill in committee, which he would have supported.
Hogan's decision leaves Del. Robert Costa of Anne Arundel County the sole GOP House member to support the bill.
Full text of Hogan's statement below:
“I was undecided on the bill dealing with rights for same-sex couples because I was waiting to see what language would be included in the bill that passed out of committee and came to the full House for a vote."
"The amendment to the legislation to change the language of the bill to use the term ‘civil union' instead of ‘marriage’ was not adopted in committee, so I will not be supporting this bill. While I do believe that the law should afford the same protections to all couples in Maryland, I do not believe we need to use the word marriage to do that.”