Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is
inching closer to backing gay marriage.
The Democrat has previously said he
supports recognizing gay and lesbian couples with civil unions.
But in March, O'Malley endorsed an
opinion by Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler that allows the state
to recognize the out-of-state marriages of gay couples.
And he went further on Thursday,
implying that he would sign a gay marriage bill if approved by
legislators, the Washington Post reported.
O'Malley made his remarks on DC-based
WTOP's Ask The Governor radio show.
In response to a caller's question on
the subject, O'Malley reiterated his support for civil unions, but
then added that “should the legislature find a way to reach that
compromise in another way, I would sign a bill like that … we need
to find a way to support equal rights, and that is true when it comes
to committed gay and lesbian couples and the unions in which they
choose to enter and raise children and all the issues that go with
As a result of Gansler's opinion, gay
couples who marry in neighboring District of Columbia will have their
unions recognized in Maryland, despite a law that bans such unions.
That shift in the law touched off a
heated debate in the Legislature, where Republican lawmakers scurried
to reverse the opinion. They introduced bills to ban gay marriage
and ban the recognition of out-of-state gay marriages, and attempted
to impeach the attorney general, none of which met with much success.
But attempts to legalize gay marriage
have also fizzled.
O'Malley most likely will face former
governor Robert L. Ehrlich, a Republican who does not support
marriage equality, in the fall.