The chairman of the Maryland Republican Party is targeting Democrats in an effort to kill a gay marriage bill.

On Saturday, Alex X. Mooney, a former state senator, emailed an “action alert” to party members urging action against nine Democrats in the Senate, the Washington Post reported.

“Our state's long standing tradition of promoting marriage as between one man and one woman will be drastically altered to legally define marriage as between two men or two women,” Mooney wrote in he email.

“There is still time to put pressure on your state senator, but we must act now. It is urgent that you contact your state senator immediately to tell them to vote no on the assault on traditional marriage.”

The alert gives the false impression that there is no Republican support for the measure.

In fact, Senator Allan H. Kittleman, a Republican from Howard, has pledged his support for the bill. A spokesperson for the GOP Senate caucus has only said that a majority of members do not support gay marriage.

A key Senate committee on Thursday approved the measure and sent it along to the full Senate, which is expected to act on the bill as early as next week.