Maryland Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller on Thursday predicted Maryland would become the seventh state with gay marriage next year, The Washington Post reported.

Proponents of gay marriage petitioned Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley to sponsor the bill during next year's legislative session, which begins in January, and O'Malley announced last week that he would. The development comes 4 months after a similar bill died without a vote in the House of Delegates after approval in the Senate.

Miller, a Democrat and an opponent of marriage equality, told the paper that O'Malley's endorsement would matter “not a whole lot.”

However, he does believe proponents will get the measure to the House floor in the next session and it will pass.

“I don't anticipate it is going to be that difficult in the House,” Miller said.

The big change in the upcoming session, Miller said, was the ease with which a recently approved immigration-related bill was petitioned to the ballot by opponents. The action should make it clear that a marriage equality bill would face a similar fate, making it easier for fence-sitting delegates to vote for it, Miller reasoned. He predicted the effort to repeal the law would fail.