ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) —The same-sex marriage debate is back in the General Assembly. Governor Martin O’Malley has introduced a bill he says should satisfy religious concerns.

Political reporter Pat Warren has reaction from both sides of the issue.

This is expected to be one of the most intense debates in this 90-day session and possibly beyond.

Just say no. That’s the option Governor O’Malley is giving religious groups that don’t want to perform weddings for same-sex couples.

O’Malley hosted a breakfast for a coalition supporting his bill to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill is also written to protect religious groups from lawsuits, an issue that may have prevented some delegates from voting for it last year.

“It’s our hope that by addressing that very specifically we’ll not only garner the support of those elected representatives but we’re also hoping to garner the support of the greater number of people in our state,” O’Malley said.

Couples Lisa and Gita, and Darryl and O’Brian are looking for that support.

“We are so hopeful that this will be the year for marriage equality in Maryland,” said Gita.

“It’s a way for us to create our American dream,” O’Brian said.

But some delegates supporting traditional marriage say the concessions to religion won’t change their stance.

“I think it’s going to be very difficult for them to get those votes. I know the governor claims he has them. I think he’s lying. Clearly, I think he’s lying,” said Del. Don Dwyer, (R) Anne Arundel County.

Expect trouble in the House.

“We’re organized. We were not last year. We are this year,” said Del. Emmett Burns.

And should the bill pass, expect a bigger debate ahead.

“The likelihood is that this issue will go to the people at referendum, and the people will decide,” said O’Malley.

That would happen in November.

The bill in the House has been assigned to two committees, which increases the chances that it will make it to the House floor for full vote.

Same-sex marriage passed in the Senate last year, but died in the House.

Comments (30)
  1. tomtom says:

    omalley will go down in history as the worst governor in maryland. what a disgrace. and to think i shook his hand one time at a political fund raiser. i cant get the stench out of my hand to this day. ugh what a mess.

  2. Neil says:

    With it being a super liberal state. I don’t understand why same sex marriage has not passed. Conservatives have no say in anything.

  3. Working Poor says:

    I still can’t figure out why anyone but gays even cares whether same sex marriage is legal or not. Gays have been living together as couples for years. So what.

  4. DISGUSTED says:

    Yes he is making history and thats all he’s doing! It doesn’t matter whats right or wrong, he’s just making changes to put himself in the spotlite and in the history books, at the expenses of the taxpayers! This “man” has been taking this state down the wrong path since he got in! And won’t be held accountable for what he has done. Four”program counties” carry the vote for the entire state, (known as the cesspool). As long as he doesn’t make them earn it ,they’ll keep putting WPS in the state house. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. FIRE THEM AND NO TO GO PACKAGE (SEVERENCE & BENFIT PACKAGE)

  5. ladarius says:

    Legalized marriage would entitle gays to the same benefits are heterosexual’s. That’s the main reason. Sure they can & have been living together but unlike traditional marriages no matter how long they live together, there would be none of the benefits whereas common law would apply to other than gay marriage after so much time.

    1. SMH says:

      What benefits? Higher taxes for being married? Most large companies already allow you cover a same sex partner with your insurance. That includes the sate of Maryland.

  6. founding fathers says:

    All I can say is O’Malley and all the people who voted for him are dangerous to the state and need to be tossed out. Thats obvious!

  7. Macinterp says:

    I find it amazing that almost everyone with the exception of one person even addressed the issue at hand. I have little love for the Governor, but what he’s doing is fundamentally right. No one is a different class of citizen. If one group of people can marry than allow everyone to marry. If one group of people can’t get married, then don’t allow anyone to marry (in the eyes of the law, mind you… Religious institutions have always been allowed to and have the right to be a bigoted as they want to be).

    Legalizing marriage for all people in the state is a necessary statement saying that no one is different in the eyes of the law. Everyone is afforded the same rights, and responsibilities as everyone else. Maybe we should all try to keep our eyes on what is REALLY important instead of worrying about what people do with their private lives.

    No one has ever been able to explain to me how a gay couple getting married in any way, shape or form, infringes on the rights of anyone else. Why? Because it doesn’t. There is no legal reason not to recognize it.

    1. Stupidity Rules says:

      It is a civil union, not a marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman.

      1. Macinterp says:

        Marriage is currently defined as between a man and a woman…. Which is where the problem lies. If you don’t want to call it “marriage” fine… I have no problems with that. Call it “civil union.” But call a union between a man and a woman in the eyes of a civil authority a “civil union” as well….. But since Stupidity Rules, you already knew that.

      2. Stupidity Rules says:

        Marriage is a religious institution not a civil one. Calling it a civil union should resolve the problem by taking religion out of the equation. No need to get personal. It shows a lack of intelligence on your part.

      3. Scott says:

        Incorrect Stupidity Rules, by the first amendment rights, once the government got involved in issuing “marriage license” it became a civil union designed to allow two people to join financially and to ease tax filings. If it was just a religious institution, the government wouldn’t be able to issue a license for it without violating the first amendment rights.. Being the case, it is legally defined as an civil union.

      4. Stupidity Rules says:

        You are correct Scott. Your explanation has convinced me that I am in error. I just wish this would pass so we can move on to the economic problems in this state. The real issue is putting people back to work.

    2. Bob Higginbotham says:

      And while you are at it do away with all religion and even the concept of God. Let
      us get to the least common denominator. Then we can play in the muck, marry who or what ever we want, let anarchy rule.

  8. chearts77 says:

    This is his priority?

  9. KottaMan says:

    No more pressing issues for this gov than his pet projects irregardless of how bad the economy is, how few jobs are out there…….? He is a self-absorbed buffoon.

  10. Sean Frank says:


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  13. Steve Wilson says:

    I am so ashamed to be living in a state (much less a country) that is populated by the number of bigots that I see posting here. Only Christians have this level of bigotry. Shame, shame, shame.

    1. Dinger says:

      Your own bigotry is showing.

  14. DomesticGoddess says:

    O’Malley doesn’t care about gays, or anybody else but himself. He is a
    politician who would love to be selected by Obama as a running mate. That is why this issue is his TOP priority.

  15. Beth Rowe says:

    my issues is being one of the gay commuinty i dont understand why this is such an issue in the first place why cant they just pass it and move on to the next big issue. i pay my taxes, bills, and what not why cant i marry who makes me happy.

    instead my taxes pay for people to live off the state and collect money for children that they dont even take care of. or for people from other countries to come here and live for basicly free. and yet i cant get help with insurance cause apprently i make to much money.

  16. frank coffee says:

    To settle this once and for all,this decision needs to be voted on by all the people in Maryland !

  17. Beth Rowe says:

    if thats the case then i vote to not have my taxes go to supporting those who sit on their buts all day and collect a check for a child that they dont take care of

  18. Beth Rowe says:

    or to pay for the health care of people that dont live here when i cant even get insurance

  19. jim says:

    Lets move on and forget about this!!!! wehave more important things to fix!!!!

  20. Lou says:

    And we don’t have any more pressing issues than this??? Unemployment, high taxes, bad roads, not the mention the horrible conditions the city children have to attend school in; etc., etc., etc. Give your attention that matters to Marylanders!

  21. ups says:

    There sre some who think that calling this unnatural alliance a “civil union” makes the act of sodomy just fine. Well, this is about so much more than allowing people to do whatever burns in them. Read Romans 1:27 and don’t wonder why this perverted behavior should not be an acceptable part of a civilized society.

  22. mps says:

    Thanks to everyone who voted for this piece of work.
    We have dozens of issues that need immediate attention and this “governor” chooses same sex marriage and raising the gas tax as his main things to work on first.

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