The Baltimore Sun reports that a vote on same-sex marriage will likely be put to the Maryland legislature before the end of the year.
In the march toward equal rights for gays and lesbians in Maryland, small things can make a big difference. A couple of Republican state senators were replaced by Democrats, giving the majority party an extra seat in a key committee. One socially conservative Democrat asked to be reassigned, and suddenly a 6-5 split against same-sex marriage in the Judicial Proceedings Committee looks like it could turn into a 6-5 vote in favor of it. [snip] That’s a lot of chickens to count before they hatch, but the path toward legalizing gay marriage here looks clearer than ever — not because of any extraordinary event, or landmark court case, or massive protest march, but because one by one, Marylanders have grown comfortable with the idea that homosexuality is no reason to deny someone’s fundamental rights.
The above-linked article cautions that should lawmakers approve marriage equality, opponents need only get 3% of Maryland’s electorate, about 56,000 people, to sign a repeal petition that would place the issue on the 2012 ballot.