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Morning Read: MD First Lady Calls Anti-Gay-Marriage Lawmakers "Cowards"

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    Katie O'Malley, wife of MD Gov. Martin O'Malley, had some harsh words from lawmakers that blocked the passage of a same-sex marriage bill last year.

    Maryland’s first lady Katie O’Malley is behind her husband’s push for the legalization of same-sex marriages in the state and she’s not afraid to let everyone know how she feels.

    Speaking Thursday at the 24th annual Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality, the first lady threw some mud at the lawmakers that prevented a legalization of same-sex marriage bill from getting passed last year in the Maryland House of Delegates.

    “There were some cowards that prevented it from passing," she said at the conference.

    The stinging line, according to The Washington Post, was not part of Katie O’Malley’s prepared remarks.

    We all want the same thing for our kids,” she says in the prepared remarks. “We all want our children to live in loving, stable, committed households that are protected equally under the law. No child should be punished because he or she happens to live in a state that doesn’t recognize the love that his or her parents share. It’s about equal rights for everyone, no matter who they are, or who they love.”

    Her husband introduced legislation earlier in the week that would legalize same sex marriage in Maryland.

    A similar bill was introduced last year, passed through the Senate but unexpectedly failed in the House of Delegates.

    * The Democrats won the standoff in the Virginia senate Thursday, ending the partisan dispute over two new judicial appointments.

    It was a stage for Democrats to show that they still have some sway in the evenly split Senate.

    The standstill began Tuesday when Democrats said they supported the reappointment of 47 incumbent judges from around the state, but opposed including the appointment of two new judges in a resolution intended to reappoint sitting judges, The Washington Post reported.

    The two judges in question were both former delegates, one a Democrats the other a Republican. The Democrats said they didn’t question their qualifications, but didn’t want it to appear that their former colleagues were "fast-tracked" to the bench.

    On Thursday, a series of new joint resolutions to reappoint only sitting judges easily passed both the House and Senate, according to The Post.

    The Democrats and Republicans each have 20 votes in the Senate. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, can serve as a tiebreaker vote on many matters, but is not allowed to vote on judicial appointments.

    * The Virginia House of Delegations tentatively approved a bill with a voice vote that would appeal a mandate that requires girls to receive a vaccination against the human papilomavirus (HPV) before they enter sixth grade.

    The Delegates rejected a proposal that required state health officials to give parents information about the vaccine.

    HPV is spread through sexual contact.

    Some conservative lawmakers believe the vaccine facilitates casual premarital sex and say the mandate interferes with parental rights, according The Associated Press.

    Others argue in favor of requiring the vaccine, saying Virginia requires vaccinations against several other diseases, including polio, tetanus, diphtheria and hepatitis

    * A bill that require women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound first narrowly passed through a Virginia subcommittee Thursday along party lines.

    Women currently have the option to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion. If the bill passes, they will no longer have the choice.

    "For the first time in nearly a decade, the Senate Education and Health Committee today passed a significant pro-life proposal," said Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch." Giving a woman access to the most advanced medical technology available, including an ultrasound, can only ensure that her health is protected and that she can make her decision regarding an abortion with all the information available."

    Proponents of the legislation, according to the Times-Dispatch, said an ultrasound is necessary to fully inform women of their medical status before they consent to the procedure and to ensure that they are not mistaking the length of their pregnancy.

    * Governor O’Malley is backing a bill that would tax digital downloads. The bill is a move to try and close Internet tax loopholes, The Baltimore Sun reports.

    The bill also includes an “Amazon tax,” which would require Maryland affiliate sellers of the powerhouse online retailers to collect a sales tax if they do more than $10,000 in business over a year.

    If passed, a 99-cent song on iTunes would jump to about $1.05, for instance.

    This tax could bring in a total of $26 million to the cash strapped state, The Sun Reports.

    * Veteran local radio personality Mark Plotkin parted ways with WTOP, The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple reports.

    It is unclear why he left, but the parting was the initiative of WTOP.

    Plotkin had been a mainstay at the station for nearly ten years and hosted a weekly radio show on Friday that will now be canceled.

    * It seems as if D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is no longer buds with his once council sidekick Harry Thomas Jr.—the former D.C. council member that plead guilty to stealing more than $350,000 in city funding.

    Loose Lips reports that when reporters asked the mayor if he’s spoken to Thomas since he resigned he said no.

    The mayor was then asked what he’d say to Thomas if he called him.

    “If he called me up, I’d what to know, what is he calling me for?” Gray said.