Tuesday, January 15, 2013

WATCH: Sam Arora Finally Explains Why He Voted Against Marriage Equality // Maryland Juice Corners Him on Live TV

UPDATE: MORE LIES FROM SAM ARORA - AmericaBlog is now weighing in on Sam Arora's explanation for the marriage equality flip-flop, and it sounds like they aren't buying it: "Sam Arora claims didn’t do 180 on gay marriage." In addition, an anonymous reader calls Sam Arora a pathological liar and says his new videotaped response contains more lies. They challenge his assertion that he proposed an amendment to the marriage equality law:
ANONYMOUS READER: At about 1:56 into the first clip -- Sam states "I proposed an amendment" to the marriage bill, suggesting that he was somehow involved in trying to find a path to legal equality for same sex couples (?) other than civil marriage.

As far as I can tell, there is nothing in the formal legislative record of him ever exercising his tiny little brain to actually draft an amendment and submit it for his colleagues consideration.  Once again -- he is trying to rewrite history -- and avoid the legitimate scrutiny that his lies deserve.

All of the amendments submitted to the marriage bill, in both House & Senate Committees, as well as on the floor of both chambers are shown in the links below.  There is no amendment of any kind offered by Arora - not in Committee and not in the full House.  Note that in 2011 Delegate Cheryl Glenn tried to amend the bill  to civil unions and this failed.  Similarly in 2012, Don Dwyer tried to amend the marriage to civil unions, but this also failed.

In 2011, Sam voted to allow the marriage bill out of Judiciary Committee, and later stated that he did this so that it could be considered on the full floor of the House -- not because he supported the bill.  On the day that the bill was considered in the full House (when it was recommited to the Judiciary Committee without a vote), Sam spoke to the Speaker of the House and told him that if it came for a vote, he (Sam) would vote against the marriage bill. 
In 2012, the gutless weasel abstained from voting when it was considered in Judiciary Committee (because he was hoping it would fail again, and that he would be able to assert factually that he never "voted against" the marriage bill).  Ultimately, he had to vote on the marriage bill in the full House, and he voted against it.

Here are links to the legislative record for the Civil Marriage Protection Act for 2011 & 2012:

SB 116 - 2011: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?ys=2011rs/billfile/sb0116.htm

HB 438 - 2012: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?ys=2012RS/billfile/hb0438.htm
SAM ARORA EXPLAINS HIS BETRAYAL ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY (KIND OF) - Below Maryland Juice features Sam Arora's long-awaited explanation for why he voted against marriage equality legislation after claiming he would support it. Last week Sam appeared on News Channel 8's NewsTalk show with host Bruce Depuyt. The freshman member of the Maryland House was asked to preview issues that will be debated in this year's legislative session. But as in the past, News 8 took live calls for their studio guest. Maryland Juice couldn't resist the opportunity to call in and finally try and get an answer out of the secretive lawmaker. In his bizarre and convoluted response, Sam Arora now appears to claim that he was in support of equal rights for same-sex couples. Watch below:
BACKGROUND: Last year, Maryland lawmaker Sam Arora made himself the focal point of national civil rights organizing when he betrayed a campaign promise to support marriage equality (see eg: Sam Arora's Equality Maryland survey promising to co-sponsor marriage equality legislation). Indeed, with LGBT rights advocates struggling to find enough votes for passage in the Maryland House, Arora's turncoat behavior created an extremely tense and uncertain environment.
Ultimately, we know that marriage equality would come to be signed into law and approved by a majority of voters. But even still, Sam Arora's friends, colleagues and constituents have sought an explanation for his betrayal. To this date, they have not received a substantive response. Notably, Sam campaigned on the issue and sought donations from marriage equality supporters. Everyone from Bill Clinton to Kal Penn (aka Kumar from Harold & Kumar) tried to contact him and ask him to keep his promise. As a result of this failure, many have felt that there needs to be a deterrent effect for potential future backstabbers.  Based on Sam's interview below, it seems unlikely they will get what they are looking for without a direct electoral challenge for his seat in 2014.

In any case, below you can watch Sam Arora's explanation for why he voted against marriage equality. I isolated his comments on the issue for the YouTube video below, but I also included his full interview at the bottom of this post.


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