The Maryland State Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee has scheduled a public hearing on Feb. 8 for a bill calling for legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland.
The hearing will discuss the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, a same-sex marriage bill introduced into the Senate and House of Delegates last week, as well as a civil unions bill that a Republican lawmaker said he was considering introducing, according to a committee staff member.
Both supporters and opponents of the marriage bill have said supporters appear to have enough votes to pass the bill in both the Senate and House of Delegates. Gov. Martin O’Malley has said he would sign the bill. Opponents have said they plan to file petitions for a voter referendum on the measure if it passes in the legislature.
Judicial Proceedings Committee staffer Lynn Hudson said committee rules allow members of the public to sign up to testify as a witness at the hearing beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the day of the hearing. The hearing is set to take place at in Room 2 East at the Miller Senate Building, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, Md.
The statewide LGBT group Equality Maryland and the national same-sex marriage advocacy group Freedom to Marry were expected to send representatives to testify at the hearing. Also expected to testify is a representative from the National Organization for Marriage, the lead organization opposing same-sex marriage in states across the country.