A key Maryland House committee could
vote on a gay marriage bill as early as Tuesday.
The House Judiciary Committee began
debate on the bill Friday, one
day after the Senate gave its approval. The Senate approved the
measure with the assistance of one Republican, Senator Allan
Kittleman, who joined 24 Democrats in voting for the bill.
Committee members could vote on the
measure as early as Tuesday. And the full House could take a final
vote on the legislation by Friday.
While a majority of committee members
have pledged their support for the measure, support in the House –
considered the more liberal chamber on social issues – remains
nearly evenly split.
“We have about 69 of the 71 firm
commitments that we need,” Delegate Heather Mizeur, who is openly
lesbian, told Baltimore's NBC affiliate WBAL. “And we have more
than a handful of folks who are undecided but leaning our way that we
think will be able to deliver in the coming days.”
Leading the fight against Maryland
becoming the sixth state to legalize gay marriage is Delegate Don
Dwyer, a Republican and a member of the Judiciary Committee, and the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most
vociferous opponent of the institution.
During Friday's testimony, Dwyer
claimed that lawmakers who favor gay marriage were committing
perjury, because they know it's a lie.