The Maryland Senate on Thursday will
begin debate on Governor Martin O'Malley's plan to make Maryland the
eighth state to legalize gay marriage.
The Senate will likely vote on
amendments to the bill on Thursday and hold off on a final vote until
“I hope to have it passed in its
entirety by Friday,” Senate President Thomas Mike Miller Jr. told
Reuters. Miller, who opposes gay marriage, has previously said the
believes the bill will clear the chamber.
The move comes less than a week after
the measure narrowly
cleared a long-standing hurdle in the House of Delegates and days
after the Senate Judiciary Proceedings Committee sent it to the full
The Senate approved a similar bill last
year before it was shelved in the House due to lack of support.
Supporters have said they believe they
still have the support of the 25 senators who voted for the bill last
Only one Senate Republican, Senator
Allan Kittleman of Howard, voted in favor of the measure last year.
An amendment likely to be considered
would expand the bill's religious exemptions to include private
businesses and individuals.
Opponents of the measure have vowed to
put the issue before voters in the fall.