A key Maryland House committee killed a bill Wednesday that would have prohibited the state from recognizing legal gay marriage performed in other states, according to the Maryland Reporter.

Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr.'s bill died in the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee on a 12 to 8 vote. Burns, a Democrat, is also a Baltimore County Baptist minister.

Two conservative Democrats, Gerron Levi and Kevin Kelly, joined six Republicans in voting in favor of the measure.

Maryland currently restricts marriage to heterosexual unions by law.

Last year, a gay marriage bill never made it out of committee, despite wide support from committee members.

Attorney General Doug Gansler is expected to deliver a legal opinion on whether the state should consider recognizing the marriages of gay and lesbian couples performed elsewhere. A gay marriage law in the District of Columbia, which cuts into Maryland's western border, is expected to take effect on March 3.