Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said Friday that he will push for legalizing same-sex marriage in the upcoming legislative session.
"I certainly plan to be very active in support of it, and we'll have other announcements in upcoming months," O'Malley said at the National Governors Association meeting in Salt Lake City.
O'Malley has long supported civil unions and has said that if lawmakers passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, he would sign it.
But Friday marks the first time O'Malley has made same-sex unions a legislative priority.
The Democratic governor said he would favor a measure in Maryland that mirrors the same-sex marriage law recently enacted in New York, which protects religious organizations from being required to ordain same-sex marriages.
"I think we can learn from what they did," O'Malley said. "One of the things we're looking at in the drafting is how their clauses with regard to religious freedom were different from ours. That might improve our efforts."