The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Governor Martin O'Malley plans to push for a new state law that would legally recognize same-sex marriage in the state of Maryland. According to The Baltimore Sun, O'Malley plans to put his full support behind the bill and has charged his top legislative aide with pushing the bill through the Senate and the House of Delegates.
O'Malley's push for same-sex marriage legislation is well-timed -- same-sex marriages begin tomorrow in New York State and the Obama administration just officially certified the repeal of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.
It seems that Barack Obama isn't the only one who is evolving on the issue -- O'Malley, once just in favor of civil unions, is now a supporter of same-sex marriage.
This is hot news in Maryland -- the only hotter news is the heat wave and BGE's suspension of service yesterday for Peak Rewards customers.
O'Malley's announcement was the focus of the lead editorial in today's Sun. In closing, the editors note:
But however the politics of gay marriage may evolve, and whatever Mr. O'Malley's ambition may be, he can take comfort in the fact that he is doing the right thing. He is standing behind the proposition that everyone should be treated the same under the law, and there is little he can do in this or any year that's more important.
While the bill should pass the Senate and House of Delegates, there still is a fair amount of opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage among certain voting blocs in the state, including members of the state's large African-American religious community.
I for one will be watching the issue closely and agree with The Sun that O'Malley's personal story of his own evolution on the issue will play an important role in the debate and be the focus of considerable media coverage.