O'Malley to testify at same-sex marriage hearing

Gov. Martin O'Malley plans to testify Tuesday before a state Senate panel in favor of the same-sex marriage legislation that he introduced.

"The governor, over the years, likes to testify on bills that are important to him," said spokeswoman Raquel Guillory. "This is an administration bill, and he wants to support it."

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is set to hear the bill at 1 p.m. Tuesday, it will be the first time that the new, revamped measure will have any scrutiny from lawmakers. O'Malley said that in his version of the bill he has straightened religious protections to ensure that churches, synagogues and mosques are not penalized for opposing gay nuptials.

A same-sex marriage bill passed in the Senate last year, and is expected to clear the chamber again this year. The harder sell is in the House of Delegates, where the bill fell short last year.

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