A gay marriage bill is being introduced in Maryland's state legislature. Said the House co-sponsor, "In 1967, my uncle passed the legislation lifting the ban on interracial marriages in Maryland. Today I carry on that legacy." It could actually pass.
The bill was previously stuck in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, but the midterm elections actually brought two votes in favor of gay marriage. The legislative sessions of 2006 and 2007 struck down attempts to amend the state's constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
That's one source of the optimism, and observers are also encouraged by the fact that the Republican opposition consists of introducing a civil unions bill instead.
In fact, this is the best the organizational opposition could do:
"It is so hard to predict how people in the end are going to vote," said Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference. "Undoing an institution that has been the foundation of our society is something people will think long and hard about doing."
It's true, marriage has been totally undone in neighboring Washington, D.C., and in Massachusetts, and in Iowa and Conneticut... In any case, she's right about the first part — the president of the Maryland Senate is anti-gay marriage and anti-civil union, but also anti-filibuster. According to The Baltimore Sun, "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."
Not all of the latter, clearly.
Gay Marriage Bill To Be Introduced By Legislative Leaders [Baltimore Sun]
Maryland Set To Expand Same Sex Rights, Gay Marriage [CNN]
In Annapolis, A Full Plate [Baltimore Sun]