The measure that would have allowed homosexuals to legally marry in Maryland has been defeated for this year.
The Old Line State's House of Delegates failed to muster enough votes needed to pass the bill. Liberal Maryland turned out to be socially conservative when it comes to recognizing what constitutes marriage in the eyes of the state.
Bishop Harry Jackson of the High Impact Leadership Coalitition gave more insight to the outcome of the fight for gay marriage in Maryland. Click play to watch the interview.
In the only public hearing the House of Delegates held this year on same-sex marriage, a number of openly-gay delegates asked their colleagues to legalize it as a matter of civil rights.
"Like everyone else on this panel, I see this as a very important civil rights issue," said Del. Anne Kaiser, D-Montgomery County.
"Your courageousness in continuing Maryland's tradition of righting social injustice is before you right now," said Del. Mary Washington, D-Baltimore.
It's widely acknowledged that Maryland's black pastors and their church members stopped the same-sex marriage effort dead in its tracks.
"This is not a civil rights issue," said Derek McCoy, president of the Maryland Family Council. "This is an issue where there are a group of radical folks who want to push an agenda and want to redefine it for everybody else."
A key moment in the debate came when Del. Luiz Simmons, D-Montgomery County, a gay marriage advocate, riled up opponents by joking about the objections of religious people.
"How can we address the celestial arguments of the opponents of same-sex marriage who truly believe that they can decipher, translate and represent the position of God on the question of same-sex marriage?" Simmons asked. "Mr. Chairman, I have checked the witness list and God has not signed up either for or against the bill."
The failure of lawmakers to legalize gay marriage in Maryland came as a bit of a surprise. The more conservative State Senate had already passed it. Also, it was thought to be a slam dunk in the liberal House of Delegates. Their vote proves that is no longer the case.