More than a dozen state lawmakers testified yesterday in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland, an unusual show of legislative support even as it is unclear if proponents will be able to muster the votes for passage this year.
The House Judiciary Committee also heard bills that would establish civil unions or domestic partnerships and a bill to put a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage on the November ballot.
"You don't have to like us," Del. Heather R. Mizeur, who is openly gay, testified. "You don't have to invite us to dinner with your family. You don't even have to respect us and our relationship. But we do expect you to treat us equally under the law."
Opponents said lawmakers might be more vocal this year, but that doesn't necessarily mean that momentum is on their side. "A constituency has increased their visibility and advocacy, and people who agree with them in the General Assembly have been more overt," said Richard J. Dowling, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference.