ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A bill to legalize gay marriage in Maryland is likely dead after the Maryland House of Delegates avoided a final vote on the issue.
Advocates believed they did not have the 71 votes needed to pass the bill in a final vote Friday, and it was sent back to committee. The procedure will allow them to continue with the legislation next year.
Supporters Delegate Anne Kaiser, D-Montgomery, and Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive director of Equality-Maryland, said they don’t expect another vote on the bill this year.
The measure would give same-sex couples in Maryland the same marriage rights as heterosexuals.
Governor Martin O’Malley said earlier Friday that he hoped to sign the bill into law. Maryland would be the sixth state to legalize gay marriage.