Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's
plan to make Maryland the eighth state to legalize gay marriage will
face its first floor debate on Thursday.
The House of Delegates will begin
debate on the gay marriage bill Thursday, just days after two House
committees sent it to the full House. An
emotional hearing on the bill attracted dozens of supporters and
opponents and ran well into the night.
Floor debate on the bill, which was
supposed to begin on Wednesday, was pushed back a day with a
“This just gives everyone a chance to
have a good look at it,” said Delegate Shane Pendergrass.
House members could vote on the bill as
early as Friday, which could be the end of the road for supporters.
A similar bill passed the state Senate
last year and narrowly cleared a House committee before it was
shelved in the House due to lack of support.
On Monday, O'Malley attempted to put a
positive spin on the bill's chances, but conceded that the measure
remained “a couple” of votes shy in the House.
“We need a couple more votes and
people always make their decisions against deadlines,” O'Malley