Proponents of marriage equality in Maryland are optimistic that the enhanced religious protections in Gov. Martin O’Malley’s newly-introduced same-sex marriage bill will attract additional support for the legislation, but are keeping their vote count close to the vest. Del. Heather Mizeur (D) told the Maryland Gazette that “a number of delegates who were ‘no’ votes on last year’s bill are expected to vote for it this time around.” “[P]rogress is being made,” she said. Religious opponents of the measure are also “much more organized this year,” the paper notes, pointing to Monday’s rally at the State House against marriage equality. Last year, the bill passed in the Senate, but could not muster enough votes in the House.