House debate on marriage put off to Thursday

The House of Delegates will wait a day and start debating Gov. Martin O'Malley's bill legalizing same-sex marriage Thursday, giving opponents of the measure some time to prepare amendments.

The legislation is moving quickly through the House, providing some supporters optimism that the governor and Democratic leadership have rounded up the 71 votes needed to pass the bill. Maryland would be the eighth state in addition to the District of Columbia to allow gay nuptials. 

One question mark is Montgomery County Del. Sam Arora, who voted for the same-sex marriage bill in committee last year but abstained last night.

"I really hope we can get to a place weere we pass a bill that is going to provide equality this year," said Arora, a Democrat. "The best way to do that is a civil unions bill."

Arora would not say how he will vote on O'Malley's bill if a civil unions measure goes down. "I don't get into hypotheticals," he said.

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