This year, a same-sex marriage bill passed the Senate, but was narrowly defeated in the House. O'Malley's more visible support of the bill could put it over the top next year.
"Look at this issue from the eyes of children of committed gay couples," says O'Malley. "And ask ourselves how one family could be protected less in the eyes of the law than another family."
O'Malley was short on specifics of what the bill will look like, but says it will be very similar to the bill passed recently in the state of New York.
Sen. Richard Madaleno (D-Montgomery County), who's openly gay, says he's not disappointed the governor did not sponsor the bill this past session, adding that last session's bill already looked very much like what was passed in New York.
"He came to the realization, as many of us did, that the best way he could move this forward is to put it in as his bill in the administration's package," says Madaleno.
Opponents have already said they will petition for a voter referendum on the matter should it pass, similar to what is happening now in response to the passage of Maryland's DREAM Act.