MARYLAND

Maryland clergy release video supporting gay marriage

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Some Maryland religious leaders are advocating for a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

A coalition of gay rights groups, Marylanders for Marriage Equality, released an ad featuring the testimony of clergy members Wednesday afternoon. Religious leaders are featured in the video arguing that their gay and lesbian members deserve the right to marry and that under Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed law they would not have to officiate same-sex unions.

Several of the clergy featured in the video are black church leaders, a group credited in part with defeating the bill last year. Religious leaders are expected to testify on behalf of the marriage bill Friday.

Lawmakers will also hear testimony that day on legislation to create a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.

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