By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)— It was a packed hearing room in Annapolis as Governor Martin O’Malley testified in favor of same-sex marriage.

Political reporter Pat Warren has the latest on both sides of this controversial issue.

If there is a quiet before the storm it’s in the Senate where the bill passed last session. Gov. O’Malley’s version of the bill is expected to pass this year.

Supporters of traditional marriage admit that they were caught off guard by the progress of the same-sex marriage bill that made it in the Senate last year. This year they got a jump on it. The rally on Lawyers’ Mall on Monday night drew hundreds who opposed changing the definition of marriage.

“I came out here to stand up for traditional marriage and to say that same-sex marriage is an aberration of nature,” said John Ritchie, same-sex marriage opponent.

“There are laws on the books in Maryland, which give the kinds of protections that some folks are asking for. So again, if it’s not broken don’t fix it,” said Deacon Al Turner, same-sex marriage opponent.

Advocates for same-sex marriage answered with a show of support for the bill Tuesday morning.

“I am also a man of faith. I am also a servant of God. My belief is that God doesn’t want any of us to live a life of shame, inequality or fear,” said Rabbi Daniel Berg, same-sex marriage supporter.

As sponsor of the bill, O’Malley repeated for the Senate Judiciary Committee what he’s been saying since he introduced the bill last week.

“It’s not right, and it’s not just that the children of gay couples should have lesser protection than the children of other families in our state,” O’Malley said.

Opposing arguments come from no less passionate defenders of the tradition.

“Last week, our esteemed First Lady referred to those who oppose this legislation as cowards. This is just the latest example of those with sincere religious convictions are being encouraged to give up their beliefs,” said Pastor Bob Borger, same-sex marriage opponent.

The real fight may be in the House, where even speaker Michael Busch isn’t sure of the outcome.

“You know we do need a little bit of help,”  Busch said.

The bill was in the hands of the Senate Judicial Committee Tuesday. There is no word yet on when that committee might vote.

If the bill makes it through the General Assembly, it is expected to go to referendum.

Comments (5)
  1. fogey0 says:

    A one billion dollar shortfall due to total mismanagement, threats of continuing, enormous tax and fee increases to unheard of levels, unethical depletion of the transportation fund and expecting us to pay for it again, creating a total anti- business climate, preferential treatment for unions and continuing out of control spending and THIS is a priority??? REALLY???

  2. Show him the money says: this a priority before or after the raiding of the transportation fund, the waste that the ICC really is, or how about discounted tuition for illegal immigrants, or raising the state gas tax, or raising the tolls on the bridges more, or increasing the sales tax on gas purchases only? Oh yes, it’s all about the children….really? Oh wait, I forgot wanting to increase the emissions fee that you and I have to pay so the state gets cleaner air, and what about increasing the vehicle registration fee? This is to take care of our infrastructure? To build a bridge that costs $100 million? What bridge? Hey, while we’re at it, how about the increase in the M-Tag commuter amounts? Just where is this money going? Yep, that’s where it’s going.

  3. John says:

    Martin is the women and his wife is actually the husband. Just listen to his high voice crack, he is dreaming of being in bed with his man. Really Martin, we got serious problems with the MD budget which must be your 1 – 10 priority, everything else that does not generate income can wait till next year. This is so much time and money wasted.

  4. Rachel says:

    Yes, I think we can ALL agree that there are a lot of problems within this state, but when there is INEQUALITY among the citizens…especially ones who pay the same taxes as you, I think the Governor has it right to try and secure EQUALITY for all of Maryland’s citizens FIRST, then move on to hopfully fixing the other BS we ALL hate and complain about.

    To say gay marriage doesn’t generate income, beside the cost of getting a license, my partner and I will be spending close to $30,000.00 for our upcoming wedding. Hopefully we will not have to travel to D.C. or New York. I do know that $30,000.00 is pennies in comparison to this state’s deficit, however, the small businesses receiving our money in this community will definitely not complain. Times that by the hundreds and thousands of committed gay couples who are hoping to do the same and you have yourself quite a bit of money being generated.

    1. Eastbound and "down" says:

      …..and as I said before, the argument makes no “cents,” one way or the other. To get to DC, take either 95S, 295S or Route 1. It’s about 35 minutes travel time.

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