House same-sex marriage bill gets 58 sponsors
* Updated links on jump take you to lists of Senate and House sponsors.
House Majority Leader Kumar Barve today submitted the House plan to legalize same-sex marriage -- a proposal backed by 58 delegates who have signed on as co-sponsors.
Barve described the number of supporters as "pretty darn good" for a controversial issue. The House would need 71 "yes" votes to pass the legislation.
It's another sign that gay marriage has gained traction this year. Maryland would join six other states and the District of Columbia if either full marriage benefits or a compromise civil unions plan is passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has said he would do so.
Notably, 12 members of the House Judiciary Committee, the panel that will weigh whether to send the measure on for debate in the entire chamber, are co-sponsors, according to a list of signatures provided to The Sun this morning. That's exactly the number needed to approve the bill in committee.
The Senate bill was introduced last week with 18 co-sponsors. Among the names were six senators on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee -- the number the legislation needs for initial approval. It needs the support of 24 senators for passage in that chamber.
Here's the House bill.
It does not appear that any Republicans are listed as co-sponsors of either the House or Senate bill. Sen. Allan Kittleman, a Howard County Republican, has said he will introduce a civil unions proposal this session.