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Maryland Senate Approves Gay Marriage Bill

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David McNew, Getty Images

On Thursday, the Maryland Senate approved a gay marriage bill that puts it on tap to become the eighth US state to permit same-sex couples to wed.

Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to sign the legislation into law. Shortly after the Senate passed the measure, he tweeted, “Maryland will now be able to protect individual civil marriage rights & religious freedom equally.”

Opponents have already said they’ll try to gather the 56,000 signatures needed to put the measure up for a November vote with Maryland citizens. One-third of those signatures would need to be submitted by May 31, with the rest turned in by June 30.

But not everyone hopes that’s successful. Maya Deane-Polyak, 15, said she wants her two mothers to have the right to legally wed after 30 years together, adding, “I think my moms should be married. It provides a lot of dignity and respect for my family as a whole.”

Currently, same-sex couples can marry in the District of Columbia and in Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York. Washington state will be added in June unless opponents stop it ahead of a possible ballot initiative. The New Jersey legislature passed a gay marriage bill through both houses but it was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie, who said the measure should be decided by the state’s voters.

[Reuters]

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