Riding on the momentum of recent marriage equality news in Washington and New Jersey, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley introduced legislation Monday night to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, reports the Baltimore Sun.


Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley

A same-sex marriage bill passed last year in the state Senate and is expected to do so again. But the measure fell short in the House of Delegates, where the legislation attracted 59 co-sponsors—four of them later dropped off. Seventy-one votes are needed for passage in the House chamber.

O’Malley has since led an aggressive campaign for marriage equality, borrowing elements of the strategy used by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and releasing a video calling for the balance of religious freedom with the freedom to marry. He has worked diligently on addressing the concerns that prevented it from passing last year.

O’Malley said this bill would make religious protections “a little clearer” than they had been in last year’s version of the measure, hoping the changes would lead to “additional support.” It extends legal protections to leaders of religious groups, while last year’s bill shielded only institutions.

Photo: www.governor.maryland.gov/