A gay marriage bill will be introduced
in the Maryland Senate this week, Senator Rich Madaleno told On
Top Magazine during a brief telephone interview on Monday.
The 45-year-old openly gay Democrat is
the lead sponsor of the legislation in the Senate.
Lawmakers in each chamber will
introduce separate bills in order to expedite the process during
Maryland's brief 90-day session, which began last Wednesday.
Chances of passage are “the best it's
ever been,” Madaleno said.
“We had a very successful election in
Maryland on this issue. We brought in a number of new people who are
committed to this issue in both chambers. In the state Senate we
enlarged the Democratic majority, which is a rarity in 2010.”
“It was a transformative election in
Maryland on this issue,” he added.
While Madaleno agreed with Governors
Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Andrew Cuomo of New York that gay
marriage can be an economic issue, he insisted that backers in
Maryland continue to frame marriage equality mostly as a matter of
Previous attempts to legalize gay
unions have suffered setbacks in the Senate's Judicial Proceedings
Committee, but new assignments have boosted the number of supporters
on the 11-member panel to six, paving the way for such a bill to
reach the Democrat-controlled Senate floor.
Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley has
pledged to sign a gay marriage bill into law if approved by
Opponents of such laws have already
vowed to work to repeal the law if approved.
“I think supporters of redefining
marriage are looking [at] any place they can gain ground,” Brian
Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM),
told the Christian Post. “In every state where the people
had the chance to vote, in both blue and deep red states, they have
voted against same-sex marriage.”
Gay marriage is legal in five states –
Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont – and
the District of Columbia.
that would legalize gay marriage has already been introduced in Rhode
lawmakers are set to consider civil unions.