Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (photo) said he will move quickly to sign into law the homosexual “marriage” bill to which the state legislature gave its final approval on February 23. The state Senate’s 25-22 vote passage came less than a week after Maryland’s House of Delegates gave the bill a razor-thin approval.
With O’Malley’s signature, Maryland will become the eighth state to legally raise homosexual relationships to the stature of marriage, following Washington State, which passed a similar measure in early February. “This issue has taken a lot of energy, as well it should,” said a beaming O’Malley following passage, “and I’m very proud of the House of Delegates and also the Senate for resolving this issue on the side of human dignity, and I look forward to signing the bill.”
The Baltimore Sun recalled that efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in the state fell short last year after the bill died in the House of Delegates without coming to a vote. “In July 2011, O’Malley, a Democrat, announced he would include a gay marriage law in his legislative package that would allow religious organizations to refuse to conduct same-sex weddings,” the paper reported.
Pro-family groups said that insufficient conscience protection for churches and ministers was just one of the problems in the bill, and they promised to immediately begin work to place the issue before voters in a November referendum. They will need to collect nearly 56,000 valid signatures, an effort they will begin in earnest once O’Malley signs the measure into law.
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