Friday, February 17, 2012

Maryland Moves Toward Approving Gay Marriage Equality

The Maryland House of Delegates narrowly approved legalization of gay marriage late Friday, clearing the way for final passage next week and the expected signature of  Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley. That would make Maryland the eighth state with a law on the books legalizing gay marriage.

In debate before the vote, Delegate Anne Kaiser, one of seven openly gay members of the House, said that she wanted, "Marriage. Nothing more. Nothing less."

Most Republican delegates opposed the measure, and some black Democrats audaciously, unbelievably bowed to pressure from church leaders to try to block the bill. The measure was passed by the Senate last year but died in the House of Delegates without coming to a vote.

If enacted, the law would come into force in January 2013. But opponents of the bill have until June 1 to collect 55,736 signatures to trigger a referendum on it. Voters would then get to have their say in November. *