Following the successful passage of marriage equality in New York, advocates in Maryland are hoping to make it the next state to allow same-sex marriage.
Despite being overwhelmingly Democratic, the Maryland House of Delegates failed to muster enough support for the marriage equality bill to bring it to a vote, so it failed. Now advocacy groups like Equality Maryland are pushing for Governor Martin O'Malley to take a leadership role next year when it’s reconsidered.
"The first thing we'd like to do is see the governor actually endorse the bill rather than express a rather weak willingness to sign it,” said David Lubin, mayor of Chevy Chase and member of the Equality Maryland board. “Additionally, we'd like it to be a governor's bill, you know, part of his legislative program since Maryland has the most powerful governor in the nation."
The situation is different in the New York State Legislature than it was in Maryland, O’Malley said.
"In New York they were very fortunate to have garnered bipartisan support for the equality initiative,” he said. “Last session we came up a couple of votes short and unfortunately we did not have a single Republican vote for Marriage Equality."
Some Democratic lawmakers from Prince George's County are feeling pressure from the religious community opposed to same-sex marriage.
"I think that the pastors, particularly African-Americans pastors within the state of Maryland, stand ready to mobilize once again as they did this year in opposition and I'm sure their influence will be just as great in the future," said Peter Sprigg, of the Family Research Council, which was part of the fight to defeat same-sex marriage on religious grounds.