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Majority of Maryland senators say they will support marriage equality

Monday, February 14, 2011
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A majority of Maryland state senators have said publicly that they will vote to legalize same-sex marriage, greatly increasing the odds that that Maryland will soon become the sixth state to grant full marriage equality.

On Monday, two more senators said they intend to vote for the bill, SB116, increasing the number who have made such commitments to 24 — the minimum number of votes needed for passage in the 47-member Senate.

Sens. Katherine A. Klausmeier (D-Baltimore County) and Edward J. Kasemeyer (D-Baltimore County) voiced support for the marriage equality bill, creating the 24 votes needed for passage in the Senate, according to an ongoing Washington Post tally.

If the bills clears the Senate, it would move to the House – traditionally the more liberal of the two chambers on social policy. Sponsors say they are confident they can secure a majority there.

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has said he would sign the bill. Maryland would join the District [of Columbia] and five other states in allowing same-sex marriages.

The Post’s tally of 24 senators includes Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore), who has said she will vote for the bill only if she believes it will pass.

The bill, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, would remove a long-standing requirement in Maryland law that recognizes only marriages between a man and a woman.

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