WASHINGTON -- Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is appearing in a new video supporting marriage equality in the Old Line State, part of a public relations push in advance of January's legislative session when a bill on same-sex marriage is expected to be introduced.
O'Malley's is the first in a series of videos launched by Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a pro-gay marriage coalition that includes the NAACP's Baltimore Chapter, the Service Employees International Union, the American Civil Liberties Union's Maryland chapter, Progressive Maryland, Equality Maryland, Human Rights Campaign, National Black Justice Coalition, Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Family Equality Council, Catholics for Equality, Maryland Faith for Equality, the Maryland chapter of the National Organization for Women and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
In the video, the governor says that he plans to introduce marriage equality legislation during the 2012 legislative session that "protects religious freedom and equality of marital rights under the law." This language echoes language used in a July speech O'Malley delivered in Annapolis.
Takirra Winfield, an O'Malley spokeswoman, told The Huffington Post that the governor's office is working on marriage equality legislation, but the legislation is still in its "preliminary stages." Winfield said she expects the legislation to be introduced in early or mid-January, as part of the administration's legislative package.
A 2011 Maryland marriage-equality bill stalled in the House of Delegates after passing the state Senate. O'Malley, who supported marriage equality in 2011, was criticized for not lending the 2011 bill his full support during the contentious legislative debate.