Maryland House committee set to vote on marriage equality bill


ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A House committee could vote as early as Tuesday on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland.

The bill needs the support of 22 delegates to pass the committee — sponsors of the bill hold 12 of the committee’s 22 seats, making passage likely, but approval by the full House is still uncertain.

While Democrats hold a 98-43 majority in the House, it remains unclear if they have enough votes for passage. Supporters said Friday there were about 68 House delegates ready to vote in favor of the measure — a few shy of the 71 votes needed.

Maryland senators approved the bill Thursday, after adding in protections for religious groups and institutions.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church isn’t giving up its fight against same-sex marriage in Maryland.

The state’s top three church leaders issued a joint statement Monday urging their flock to “act at once” to prevent the House of Delegates from passing the marriage equality bill that was approved in the Senate last week, according to The Washington Post.

“We urge Maryland Catholics throughout the state to act at once to make your voices heard,” said the statement issued by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore and Bishop Francis Malooly of Wilmington, the three dioceses that include parts of Maryland.

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