Nearly 200 people signed up to speak at a hearing on gay marriage in Maryland, including Maggie Gallagher, chair of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), and Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council (FRC).

The Senate Judiciary Proceedings Committee is considering Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola's bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state.

During a public hearing on the measure Tuesday, people were given 3 minutes to make their case.

Sprigg, who in an interview broadcast last year on MSNBC's Hardball, told host Chris Matthews that “gay behavior” should be criminalized, told the committee that marriage serves two public purposes: “Bringing together men and women for the reproduction of the human race and keeping together a man and woman to raise to maturity the children produced by their union.”

Gallagher echoed a similar sentiment: “Marriage is the union of husband and wife for a reason: these are the only unions that can make new life and connect children in love to their mom and dad.”

But she also warned that allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry would have “consequences.”

“It's time for the hypocrisy to end; it's time the discrimination to end and for all families to be treated equally,” said Morgan Meneses-Sheets of Equality Maryland.

A majority of committee members, including its chairman, have previously voiced their support for marriage equality. However, the measure remains four votes shy of passage in the Senate, where six senators say they remain undecided.