Sam Arora has now changed his mind. The Maryland Delegate who was a strong suppoert of marriage equality is expressing his concern for the same-sex marriage bill.
“I have heard from constituents, friends, and advocates from across the spectrum of views and have thought about the issue of same-sex marriage extensively,” he said in a statement.
“I understand their concern—this is a very serious issue, and one that many people feel passionately about. As the vote drew nearer, I wrestled with this issue in a way I never had before, which led me to realize that I had some concerns about the bill.
“While I personally believe that Maryland should extend civil rights to same-sex couples through civil unions, I have come to the conclusion that this issue has such impact on the people of Maryland that they should have a direct say.
“I will vote to send the bill to the floor because it deserves an up-or-down vote. On the floor, I will vote to send the bill to the governor so that Marylanders can ultimately decide this issue at the polls. I think that is appropriate.”
If the bills go through, both sides in the debate will expect opponents to take advantage of a provision in Maryland law. The law allows citizens to petition the new law onto the ballot.
Arora’s experience in government includes positions in the U.S. Senate and clerkships with the criminal appellate division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.
Under Gansler, Arora published resources for Maryland non-profit organizations to navigate the State’s legal requirements and helped prepare legislation to ban the sale of the hallucinogenic drug Salivia divinorum in Maryland.