ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller says his chamber will vote on a bill to legalize gay marriage later Thursday.
Senators returned to the chamber to wrap up what Miller expects will be an “orderly” debate and take a vote.
Senator Ed Degrange (D-Anne Arundel County) proposed an amendment to the bill that would protect religious freedoms so that churches, synagogues and temples would not be liable for not performing same-sex marriages.
Debate over the amendment lasted over an hour according to All-News 99.1 WNEW’s Karen Adams.
Last year, the Senate passed a similar proposal 25-21 and Miller said the vote is not expected to change.
The legislation, which is expected to pass, would make Maryland the eighth state to legalize same-sex unions, when Gov. Martin O’Malley signs the bill.
The governor continued to be a strong advocate of the legislation in advance of the vote.
“We all want the same thing for our kids–for them to live in loving, committed & stable homes protected equally under the law,” Gov. O’Malley posted on Twitter.
Last week the House of Delegates passed the bill by a thin margin, courting just one more vote than necessary to pass the measure.
Opponents have vowed to bring it to voters with a referendum on the November ballot.
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