O’Malley To Sponsor Gay Marriage Legislation

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Governor Martin O’Malley takes the lead on a campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports O’Malley is making it an administrative priority and will sponsor the bill next year.

O’Malley is throwing the power of his office behind same-sex marriage in Maryland.

“I will sponsor legislation that protects religious freedom and protects marital equality rights equally under the law,” said O’Malley.

The governor was asked about previous statements that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman.

“I have always believed in the dignity of every individual,” O’Malley responded. “I believe in our own responsibility to advance the greater good. And I also believe there’s a unity to spirit and matter and what we do in our lifetimes does matter.”

A week ago, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake pledged her support to legalizing single gender couples.

Supporters hope to repeat the success of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who got a same-sex marriage bill passed last month.

“I believe that New York showed you could do those things. You could protect religious freedoms and you can also protect rights equally, and that’s what we’re going to do in this upcoming session,” O’Malley said.

Defenders of one man, one woman marriage plan to fight back.

“We don’t want that, and it’s not going to happen,” said one opponent.

If history does repeat itself, the battle will be fought here. Governor O’Malley acknowledges he has a lot of work to do. And opponents vowed that even if the law passes they will make sure is it goes to referendum, although O’Malley says that is not his focus.

A same-sex marriage bill passed the Senate last year but failed to get a vote in the House.

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