ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland legislative leaders are holding a news conference outlining a proposed law to recognize same-sex couples.

Andrea Fujii reports a new poll predicts what may happen.

This is not the first time the legislature has brought up gay marriage, but it is the first time it may be up to the voters to decide, and it’s not clear if it would pass.

The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act would legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland, but would not require churches to perform the unions.

Proponents say they have the votes, but opponents look to the ballot.

“The people will take it. In other words, if a bill is passed in the General Assembly, the people can petition the bill in referendum, and I’m definitely sure that will happen,” said Delegate Patrick McDonough, (R) Baltimore County.

If the decision is left to voters, a just released poll suggests it’d be close.

Of the more than 800 registered voters polled by Gonzales Research, 51 percent support gay marriage in Maryland and 44 percent oppose it. Five percent did not respond.

Down party lines, 65 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Independents are in favor. Seventy-three percent of Republicans are opposed of the bill.

Gita Dean is a gay marriage advocate and has reservations about putting the issue to a vote.

“I really feel like the civil rights issue of any minority should never be voted on by a majority,” said Dean.

The bill must be passed in the House and the Senate and signed by the governor first before it goes to the voters.  Right now, the outcome in the legislature is still too close to call.

The earliest the issue could appear on the ballot would be in the 2012 presidential election.

There is also a second same-sex bill proposed in the Senate and that one would recognize civil unions.

Comments (6)
  1. michael kelly says:

    see the thing everyones making a big thing about same sex marrage it shouldnt be. why. they say because its in the holly bible. on thts understandible but also it say in the bible the noone should work on sundays its a day of rest a day for family a day for people to go to church. BUT alot of places ant closed on sundays i same sx cuples cant get merried they all bissnesses should be closed on sunday if we,ll oing to follow the bible lets follow it all the way. so i hink the same sex marrage should be aloud. im not gay myself but if it makes people happy hen letthen go. but like i said lets follow it all they way every bissness should be closed onsundays i know the police and hospitals and all cant thats understandible but all the other places should be. that the thing if you want to look at it its taking away our fisr amendment witch is

    The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law “respecting an establishment of religion”, impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment has been interpreted by the Supreme Court as erecting a wall of separation between church and state.[1]

    Originally, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress. However, starting with Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925), the Supreme Court has held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the First Amendment to each state, including any local government.

    so how can you take are freedom, freedom of speach. comeone lets get reall im only 18 years old and to me its taking it away from us. see i could go on about this i wish i could talk to the president my self and the congress about this. I bet i could have a good fight on my hands but im noone the president ant worry about me im a nobody to him. all he knows about me i that i payed taxes or 4 years and they love getting my money yours truly michael kelly

    1. michael kelly says:

      sorr for the words thats messed up my kyeboreds action stupid sorry

  2. Jeff Powers says:

    I’ve asked dozens of people over the last few years this question: Who would be harmed if gays were allowed to marry> I haven’t gotten a coherent answer yet because there isn’t one.

  3. One man and one woman says:

    I’ve asked dozens of gay people over the last few years this question: Why do you feel the need to be wedded as husband and wife? I haven’t gotten a coherent answer yet because there isn’t one.

  4. Patrick Wojahn says:

    I can give you plenty of reasons why my husband and I (I am male) want to be legally married. It would provide us many protections that currently only straight couples have – such as a guarantee that we would be able to care for each other if one of us were to become sick. It would ensure that the other one of us would be protected if one of us were to pass away, and that we would have access to things like health insurance benefits. Most importantly, though, it would demonstrate to us that our government respects us as full and equal citizens in Maryland, that our relationship is just as entitled to respect as that of my sister and her husband or that of my parents. If you need more reasons, I’m happy to give them.

  5. Ruby Wilson says:

    Being gay is a choice. You are full and equal citizens. The difference is that you want to change the definition of marriage. Marriage which has been defined as between a man and a woman in Maryland forever. This is not religious freedom but religious persecution. You can take care of your significant other if you want. Not everyone get benefits that give them time to take care of someone else. You can make up a will, you can buy life insurance, you can give your significant a health care proxyand other benefits. Marriage needs to stay as it is. Marriage was instituted by God to give grace.

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