Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, shown during the 2010 campaign. (Aaron Davis/The Washington Post)

“I think the momentum is in the right direction,” Brown said during an interview on an Internet radio station that bills itself as the voice of Maryland’s gay community. “I’m confident that we’re going to be able to get it in this legislative session.”

The Maryland Senate passed a same-sex marriage bill last session, but the effort fell short in the House of Delegates.

Brown’s boss, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), announced in July that he would sponsor new legislation when lawmakers reconvene in January, and both sides are preparing for a rematch.

Brown, who is gearing up to run for governor in 2014, was more outspoken on the issue during the previous legislative session than O’Malley. Brown’s advocacy included an appearance on MSNBC.

“Marriage equality to me is about supporting strong families,” Brown said Tuesday.

The lieutenant governor largely deflected a question about opposition to same-sex marriage by some African American lawmakers, saying: “This is not about race. It’s not about ethnicity. This is about appealing to people’s sort of sense of what is right and what is fair.”

Brown said it is “extremely highly likely” that opponents would petition a same-sex marriage law to the ballot. That would put the measure in front of voters next November.

Brown said a full-fledged campaign would result, and he said listeners should be prepared to contribute money, distribute literature and participate in phone banks to support the effort.