State Senator Richard Madaleno predicts
the odds of Maryland legalizing gay marriage next year are are in the
“six, seven, eight” out of ten range.
The openly gay Democrat first elected
in 2002 will be joined in the Legislature next year by six openly gay
lawmakers in the House of Delegates, up from four last year.
Madaleno remains the only openly gay senator.
“Just by having out people there to
participate in the conversation fundamentally alters the discussion,”
told GayPolitics.com. “The tenor of the conversation changes.
It humanizes it.”
adopted a February gay marriage opinion by Attorney General Douglas
F. Gansler that favored recognizing the marriages of gay couples
performed in other jurisdictions over the objection of a state law
that bans such unions. The institution is legal in neighboring
District of Columbia. And
the state began offering gay state employees equal marriage benefits
as heterosexual couples in May.
Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, has pledged to sign a gay marriage bill
into law if approved by lawmakers.
“In the Senate, I'm confident we are
where we have to be to end debate and pass a bill,” Madaleno said.