Edwards supports same-sex marriage

At an labor dominated Annapolis rally last night where topics ranged from Gov. Martin O'Malley's wind legislation to union pay, U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards offered strong support for same-sex marriage. 

The recent Congressional redistricting fight showed that the congresswoman's influence in Annapolis is limited at best, but she is close to a key African-American delegates whose votes could make the difference for the legislation.

"I was married for a little while. I chose to be married," Edwards said. "Then I chose not to be. But in the state of Maryland I could. But that should be the case for all Marylanders."

O'Malley is expected to introduce his legislative package next week, including a new same-sex marriage bill that he's said will have beefed up protections for religious institutions.

The path for passage will be somewhat different in the House this year.

House Speaker Michael Busch told House leaders on Friday that the legislation will be referred to two committees: House Health and Government Operations as well as the House Judiciary Committee.

The maneuver could easier to move it out of committee to the floor -- last year key sponsors on the judiciary panel bolted from the bill, making harder than expected to move out of committee.