Gay marriage bill to be introduced by legislative leaders
Sen. Rob Garagiola, a Democrat from Montgomery County, will put his name on the Senate version of the bill along with Sen. Rich Madaleno, an openly gay lawmaker who has introduced the measure in the past.
Majority leader Garagiola said that the bill, which would permit same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses, is "something that I think we need to do." He said there's "a lot" of support among his colleagues for a bill. "Two people loving each other, that is not going to change," he said. "I look at this as a civil rights issue."
He said that he'll likely introduce the measure next week.
The House version will be introduced by Majority Leader Kumar Barve, a Democrat from Montgomery County, and Baltimore's Del. Keiffer Mitchell, an African-American who hails from a storied civil rights family.
Mitchell, a freshman in the body, is linking his sponsorship of the legislation to his family's history. On twitter he wrote: "In 1967, my uncle passed the legislation lifting the ban on interracial marriages in Maryland. Today I carry on that legacy."
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller opposes gay unions, civil or otherwise, but says he'll cast a vote to cut off a filibuster in the Senate, a procedural hurdle that requires more votes than final passage. He predicted Wednesday that the measure would come up early in the session and guessed that conservatives and African-Americans in the body will oppose it.