ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s Senate minority leader says he is stepping down.

Republican Sen. Allan Kittleman said Tuesday he has decided to move aside because he holds more moderate views on social issues than a majority of the members of the Senate Republican caucus.

Kittleman, who represents Howard County, says he was not pressured into the move.

Kittleman is working on legislation to allow civil unions for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples that would give them the same rights married couples currently have. The senator says he hasn’t decided yet whether to introduce the measure.

The Senate Republican caucus is expected to choose a new minority leader on Friday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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