The Maryland House of Delegates will
vote Friday on a last-minute amendment to a gay marriage bill.
The amendment, offered by Democratic
Delegate John A. Olszewski Jr. in the House Judiciary Committee,
would further protect religious groups.
The amendment would broaden the bill's
religious protections by replacing a narrow list of religious
exceptions with an open-ended statement that would protect religious
groups from “the promotion of marriage in violation of the entity's
“I'm just trying to find a balance
between equal rights for all citizens and protections for religion,”
Olszewski told the Baltimore Sun.
The House put off voting on the
amendment until Friday. A final vote on the bill is also expected on
Before Wednesday's session, House
Speaker Michael Bush warned that any changes to the bill, approved
two weeks ago by the Senate, could kill it. Gay marriage backers
fought off four proposed amendments to advance the bill to a third
and final vote.
Supporters concede they remain several
votes shy of victory in the 141-member chamber.
Opponents of gay marriage are widely
expected to mount a referendum on the law, if it is approved by