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O’Malley testifies for gay marriage

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley says legalizing gay marriage in Maryland is a matter of protecting children.

The governor, a Democrat, testified in support of his proposal to allow same-sex marriages before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Tuesday afternoon.

O’Malley said the bill will offer certain legal protections to children of gay couples, providing parity with children of married, heterosexual parents.

Last year, the Senate passed a version of the bill. But it stalled in the House, of Delegates at least in part over legislators’ religious and family values concerns.

The governor has said that this year’s bill offers additional protection to religious institutions that do not support same-sex unions by adding language that draws on similar legislation passed in other states.