A pair of Maryland House committees are planning to vote jointly Tuesday starting at 4:30 p.m. on same-sex marriage legislation, according to several delegates.

A majority vote would send a bill sponsored by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) to the full chamber for a high-stakes debate later this week.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, at podium, speaks in support of a same-sex marriage bill at a rally last month. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

O’Malley and his allies have been scrambling in recent days to persuade a majority of delegates to support the bill in the House, where a similar measure failed last year. In recent weeks, the governor has stepped up outreach to Republicans.

This year’s bill was assigned to two House committee: Judiciary and Health & Government Operations after concerns arose that the House leadership lacked the votes on Judiciary to move the measure to the floor.

Word that the two committees will vote jointly Tuesday was immediately protested by some opponents.

“This combined vote manipulates the process to ensure passage,” Del. Michael D. Smigiel Sr. (R-Cecil) said on Twitter.