Maryland Delegate Peter F. Murphy has announced he's gay, increasing the number of openly gay delegates to seven.

In an interview with gay weekly the Washington Blade published Wednesday, Murphy, a divorced father of two, denied he was closeted.

“I have never denied [being gay],” Murphy said, “I just presumed people knew.”

Murphy, however, was not one of the six openly gay delegates signing onto a letter urging the House to approve a gay marriage bill.

The letter, released over the weekend, was signed by Democratic Delegates Luke Clippinger, Bonnie Cullison, Anne Kaiser, Maggie McIntosh, Heather R. Mizeur and Mary Washington.

Debate on the measure in the House began on Wednesday.

The 61-year-old lawmaker and grandfather of two added that he would vote in favor of the bill.

“I think it's a strong civil rights bill,” Murphy said. “I think it's a fair bill because it also addresses the religious issue and doesn't require any religious organization to practice something that goes against their teachings.”

Senator Rich Madaleno is the Maryland Senate's only openly gay member.