A bill to legalize gay marriage was introduced on Wednesday in Maryland's House. It follows a similar introduction in the Senate on Friday.

Both chambers will debate the legislation simultaneously to expedite the process during Maryland's brief 90-day session, which began 3 weeks ago.

House Majority Leader Kumar Barve submitted the bill in the House, while Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola and Senator Rich Madaleno are behind the Senate version.

Committees assigned to the bill in both chambers include pro-gay marriage majorities.

Madaleno told On Top Magazine during a brief telephone interview that the chances of passage are “the best it's ever been.”

“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.

Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley has pledged to sign a gay marriage bill into law if it is approved by lawmakers.

Gay marriage is legal in five states – Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont – and the District of Columbia.

Two additional states – New York and Rhode Island – will also consider legalizing gay marriage this year.

A majority of people in all three states support marriage equality, according to a report released Wednesday compiled by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate.