Maryland is on the verge of becoming the eighth state to allow same-sex marriage as a bill sponsored by Gov. Martin O'Malley narrowly squeaked through the House of Delegates Friday night with one more vote than the minimum needed for passage.
According to the Baltimore Sun, cheers erupted when the gavel dropped on the final 72-67 tally and within minutes, Gov. O'Malley walked down from his second floor office to the doorway of the House chamber and embraced House Speaker Michael E. Busch and said, "Good job, man."
O'Malley continued saying "We are a good people. We all want the same things for our kids,". Then he offered credit to delegates and activists, many of whom who had been skeptical about his commitment to the issue. "These guys did it," he said.
As Reported By The Baltimore Sun:
The measure goes now to the Senate, which last year passed a similar bill and is expected do so again. That chamber will likely take it up next week.
Should it pass in both chambers, activists on both sides believe it will petitioned to referendum in November. If voters approve, the earliest a gay couple would be able to wed is January 2013, when the law would go into effect.
The victory is significant for O'Malley, who threw the weight of his office behind the measure after a similar bill fell short a few votes in the House last year.
The governor, a Democrat, had been working the halls of the House office building at all hours to convince wavering delegates.
In national terms, the Maryland vote caps a week in which same-sex marriage proponents have scored significant victories with the signing of a similar law in Washington state and the legislature's approval of a marriage bill in New Jersey—though Gov. Chris Christie vetoed it Friday.
Looks like the fight for equality for gay citizens of Maryland has another hurdle to overcome.
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun