A Maryland Senate panel on Tuesday
approved a gay marriage bill and sent it along to the full Senate.
The Senate Judiciary Proceedings
Committee approved the proposed legislation with a 7-4 vote after
conducting an emotional
public hearing earlier this month.
The committee acted just days after the
cleared a long-standing hurdle in the House of Delegates.
The Senate approved a similar bill last
year before it fizzled in the House.
Supporters have said they believe they
still have the support of the 25 senators who voted for the measure
“Truthfully, we're just working on
preserving the 25 [votes],” Carrie Evans, executive director for
Equality Maryland, told The Washington Post.
Only one Senate Republican, Senator
Allan Kittleman of Howard, voted in favor of the measure last year.
Democratic Senator James Brochin
reconsidered his opposition to marriage equality last year after
listening to nearly 7 hours of testimony at a public hearing.
Brochin said that he found the
testimony of opponents to be “troubling.”
“The demonization of gay families
really bothers me,” Brochin said. “Are these families going to
continue to be treated by the law as second class citizens?”
Brochin said he did not think
Republicans were likely to prolong the voting process.
“I think Republicans have just
realized that a lot of attitudes have changed over the last four or
five years and it's not as polarizing as it once was,” he told The