The Maryland House of Delegates appears poised to pass same-sex marriage legislation when it meets late Friday afternoon.
"(Proponents) have secured the final vote," said Del. Anthony O'Donnell, the House minority leader.
Del. Tiffany Alston, a Prince George's County Democrat who previously opposed the bill and voted against it in committee, emerged from House Speaker Michael E. Busch's office and later offered a two-part amendment.
The first part prevents the law from going into effect if there is pending court litigation. A second part of the amendment would require judges to strike down the entire law should any part of it be illegal.
"(Alston's) vote was contingent on the passing of that amendment," said O'Donnell.
Following the nearly two hours of debate, Alston was escorted into the speaker's office and away from reporters.
The House is scheduled to return for a final vote Friday at 4:30 p.m.
O'Donnell, during the debate, objected to the rush to a final vote.
"We should not use brute force strength on such a weighty issue," said O'Donnell.