A key Maryland House committee could vote on a gay marriage bill as early as Tuesday.

The House Judiciary Committee began debate on the bill Friday, one day after the Senate gave its approval. The Senate approved the measure with the assistance of one Republican, Senator Allan Kittleman, who joined 24 Democrats in voting for the bill.

Committee members could vote on the measure as early as Tuesday. And the full House could take a final vote on the legislation by Friday.

While a majority of committee members have pledged their support for the measure, support in the House – considered the more liberal chamber on social issues – remains nearly evenly split.

“We have about 69 of the 71 firm commitments that we need,” Delegate Heather Mizeur, who is openly lesbian, told Baltimore's NBC affiliate WBAL. “And we have more than a handful of folks who are undecided but leaning our way that we think will be able to deliver in the coming days.”

Leading the fight against Maryland becoming the sixth state to legalize gay marriage is Delegate Don Dwyer, a Republican and a member of the Judiciary Committee, and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of the institution.

During Friday's testimony, Dwyer claimed that lawmakers who favor gay marriage were committing perjury, because they know it's a lie.