Del. Christopher B. Shank, citing a letter of opposition from the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, said he's worried about the effect on small businesses.
"This is going to lead to all kinds of frivolous lawsuits," he said.
Shank also said most of his calls from constituents have been in opposition.
Del. Joseph R. Bartlett, R-Frederick/Washington, said he doesn't think gays, lesbians and bisexuals should be given minority status.
"This is the first step toward gay marriages and it's simply not necessary," Bartlett said.
Opponents on the Judiciary Committee used some of the same arguments.
"Gays and lesbians are not minorities as I am. They have been in the legislature longer than me," said Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr., D-Baltimore, who is black.
Burns and other opponents tried unsuccessfully to strip the bill of several amendments added by the Senate. They also tried to add their own amendments.
In the end, the committee passed a bill identical to the one passed by the Senate on Tuesday.
Former Hagerstown resident Del. Charles Barkley, D-Montgomery, said he voted in favor of it because local anti-discrimination laws have worked well.
"It's a good bill," he said.
About half the state's residents are already covered by laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and there has not been a flood of lawsuits, supporters said.
"Everybody deserves a place to live, a job according to their abilities and public accommodations. It's time for Maryland to set the standard, to let all folks know that gay bashing is not acceptable in Maryland," said Del. Carol S. Petzold, D-Montgomery.