Thursday, March 01, 2012

Maryland Governor Set To Sign Same-Sex Marriage Bill Into Law

While New Jersey gays and lesbians are waiting for Gov. Chris Christie to change his mind about approving a same-sex marriage bill (he issued a conditional veto and has said he'd put the matter up for a referendum), Maryland isn't waiting. They're joining with New York and several other states in enacting same-sex marriage legislation. Governor Martin O'Malley is set to sign the legislation into law this evening - though it would take effect January 2013. Opponents are hoping to gather sufficient signatures to overturn the law:
Though both the House and the Senate chambers are dominated by Democrats, same-sex marriage was not an easy sell for the Democratic governor. In the end, two House Republicans bucked their party and voted for it -- ensuring passage. The Senate wrestled with the issue last year, and passed it with less drama this time.

But even with the governor's signature, same-sex couples won't get Maryland marriage certificates until the law goes into effect in January 2013 -- at the earliest.

Fired-up opponents have pledged to collect 100,000 signatures opposing the bill by June 30 -- about twice what they would need to trigger a state-wide referendum on the topic. On Wednesday several powerful groups joined forces to accomplish that goal.
For what it's worth, support for gay marriage in New Jersey is increasing, which makes any potential referendum in the state more likely to approve gay marriage.

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