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Md. Gay Rights Group Wants To Make Same-Sex Marriage Legal Next Year

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Gay rights advocates launch their 2012 campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland.  Tuesday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined the coalition of supporters.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on what Marylanders can expect to hear and see.

Supporters plan to follow the example set in New York and sway public and political opinion in their direction.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake put the power of the mayor's office behind legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland.

"Your fight is our fight and together I know we will win," she said.

Other faces behind the cause come forward in the launch of Marylanders For Marriage Equality, fashioned after the successful campaign led by New York's governor that legalized same-sex marriage in New York last month.

"We'll do whatever it takes," said Chris Megargee, Equality Maryland.

A move to legalize marriage between same-sex couples was blocked in the House of Delegates this year. The bill got as far as the floor of the House of Delegates but went back to committee without a vote.

Advocates are now looking for support in the religious community.

"With people going door-to-door, people at the community associations, in their churches, in their synagogues and their mosques talking about the fact that marriage equality is the right thing to do in Maryland," said Delegate Maggie McIntosh.

Defenders of marriage as one man, one woman are expecting it.

"We are in their sights.  We are targeted.  We are in the bullseye," said Emmett Burns.

Ironically, both sides use the importance of family in defense of their positions.  But will it work in Maryland?

"We don't want that and it's not going to happen," Burns said.

Advocates want Maryland to become the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage.

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