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Lawmakers will introduce a bill to legalize marriage equality in Maryland next week, with the backing of newly reelected governor Martin O'Malley.
Equality Maryland and national group Freedom to Marry will hold a joint news conference Tuesday to officially announce the introduction of the bill, according to the Washington Blade.
To boost lobbying efforts, Equality Maryland has hired more staff members to do the necessary legwork to rally support for the bill. Meetings to recruit volunteers are being scheduled across the state. Groups have already begun to assemble in Prince George's and Montgomery counties and will meet regularly. Conversely, the National Organization for Marriage, a strongly antigay organization that has fought marriage equality in many states, has pledged to do so in Maryland.
The announcement comes after Republican senator Allan Kittleman stepped down as minority leader after two years because of his interest in introducing a bill to legalize civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. He decided he was not sufficiently conservative for fellow GOPers.