NYT: Another Long Delay for Rape Custody Bill in Maryland

Apr 20th, 2017

A recent New York Times article explains that bipartisan support in the General Assembly and Governor Larry Hogan's (R) support of the Rape Survivor Family Protection Act were not enough to keep it alive. In a rare feat, the bill had support from a wide variety of organizations and perspectives, including the Maryland Catholic Conference and Planned Parenthood of Maryland. The bill’s fate came down to a committee of six male negotiators, a fact though “insensitive,” according to bill sponsor Kathleen Dumais (D), though she said that may not have been the reason it failed. MCASA’s Executive Director & Counsel Lisae C. Jordan, Esq., criticized the doomed bill, saying that there was no reason the negotiations had to wait until hours before the deadline, and that she "didn't buy it." The article points out that leadership was absent from the committee meeting- Joseph F. Vallario (D), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and member of the all-male conference appointed to the bill was “too busy” to attend. Senator Bobby A. Zirkin (D), chairman of the Senate’s judicial proceedings committee agreed in hindsight that more women should have been involved in the committee, but placed blame for the bill’s failure to pass on an archaic system for passing legislation. To read the full article, please click here.

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