The Maryland state legislature convenes today in Annapolis and one of the top items on its agenda is a same-sex marriage bill. Democratic governor Martin O’Malley is expected to introduce the bill as part of his legislative slate for the 2012 session in hopes that this time the measure actually passes. The same bill hit a snag last year when, after squeaking by in the State Senate, it failed to pass the House. But this year O’Malley and fellow Democrats are feeling more positive about the bill’s chances of passing and hope they can sway a few votes in the house.
O’Malley, who initially only supported civil unions, notably changed his position on marriage equality last year, stating publicly that “the government needs to enforces rights and protect rights equally among all its people.” Now he’ll be fighting for the bill’s passage in the upcoming session and, hopefully, marking another step forward in the fight for the recognition of equal rights for gays and lesbians who want to marry.
If it happens, it would make Maryland the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage. And, even more notably, Maryland would be the first state south of the Mason-Dixon line to recognize marriage equality.