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Same sex marriage could again be a hotly contested issue in the Maryland General Assembly come January, but the debate is already getting started in the rest of the state. Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a group that supports same sex marriage, launched the first of several videos that will feature prominent residents of the state.
The first video, released Sept. 28, features the state's highest ranking official. "I'm Governor Martin O’Malley, and I'm a Marylander for marriage equality," the governor says.
Organizers plan to produce many more videos featuring clergy, athletes, police officers and other prominent supporters, but the names of those featured will not be released until the videos are made public. The campaign is similar to one launched in New York earlier this year before the state legislature there took up a same-sex marriage vote, which featured high profile New Yorkers such as Larry King.
Last year, a same sex marriage bill passed the Maryland Senate but was defeated in the House of Delegates after heavy opposition from African American churches, primarily in Prince George's County. O'Malley says his new bill will have more safeguards for the religious freedom of churches that don’t support same sex marriage.