MARYLAND

Maryland House panels hear gay marriage arguments

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley says his bill to legalize gay marriage offers more protection to religious freedoms than any other same-sex marriage proposal in the country.

Responding to questions from Republican Delegate Neil Parrott, O'Malley said Friday his bill would adequately protect religious freedoms of people who oppose same-sex marriage.

Parrott asked the governor to consider amending the bill to create specific protections for teachers, students and parents who worry that theories about gay marriage would be taught in schools.

O'Malley responded that he opposes anything that violates religious freedoms.

Two committees are hearing arguments on the governor's bill to legalize same-sex marriage as well as a another proposal that while not expected to pass, would create a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Maryland House panels hear gay marriage arguments

(AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley says he wants lawmakers to pass a bill that would legalize gay marriage in order to provide children with stable homes.

O'Malley, flanked by clergy members, testified before the House Judiciary and Health and Government Operations Committees Friday afternoon.

The committees are hearing arguments on the governor's bill to legalize same-sex marriage as well as a another proposal that while not expected to pass, would create a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Last year, the state Senate approved legislation to allow same-sex marriage, but the bill stalled in the House when some lawmakers retracted their support over religious and family values concerns.

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