Gay Marry-Land

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, centre, greets supporters and members of the House of Delegates after the House passed a gay marriage bill in Annapolis, Maryland

Gay marriage is all but legalised in the state of Maryland after the legislature gave its final agreement on Thursday to the law that’s being sent to the governor, who said he expects to sign it sometime this week.

The state senate voted 25-22 for the law. The vote comes less than a week after the House of Delegates barely passed the measure.

Maryland will become the eighth state to allow gay marriage when Governor Martin O’Malley who sponsored the bill signs the legislation. The Democrat made the measure a priority this session after it stalled last year.

Six states allow gay couples to wed Connecticut, New Hampshire, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont as well as the Washington capital district. The governor of Washington signed a bill this month that would make that state the seventh.

Opponents in Maryland have vowed to bring the measure to referendum in November. They will need to gather at least 55,726 valid signatures of Maryland voters to put it on the ballot and can begin collecting names now that the bill has passed both chambers.

Some churches and clergy members have spoken out against the bill, saying it threatens religious freedoms and violates their tradition of defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

“The enormous public outcry that this legislation has generated voiced by Marylanders that span political, racial, social and religious backgrounds demonstrates a clear need to take this issue to a vote of the people,” Maryland Catholic Conference spokeswoman Kathy Dempsey said in a statement. “Every time this issue has been brought to a statewide vote, the people have upheld traditional marriage.”

Leaders at the Human Rights Campaign, a group that joined a coalition of organisations to advocate for the bill, said they expect opponents will gather the required number of signatures.

Senator Allan Kittleman, the only senate Republican to vote in favuor of the legislation, said he is proud of his decision and not concerned about political consequences down the road.

“You don’t worry about politics when you’re dealing with the civil rights issue of your generation,” said Kittleman, R-Howard, the son of the late Senator Robert Kittleman, who was known for civil rights advocacy.

Gay marriage remains on hold in California after opponents petitioned a federal appeals court on Tuesday to review a split decision by three of its judges that struck down a voter-approved measure that limited marriage to a man and woman.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

Thank you for commenting. I always want to know what you have to say. However, I have a few rules: 1. Always be kind and considerate to others. 2. Do not degrade other people's way of thinking. 3. I have the right to refuse or remove any comment I deem inappropriate. 4. If you comment on a post that was published over 14 days ago, it will not post immediately. Those comments are set for moderation. If it doesn't break the above rules, it will post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: