With one stroke of the pen, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has signed the Marriage Protection Act of 2012, which legalizes same-sex marriage, joining eight other states and the District of Columbia.
O’Malley, a Democrat, signed the bill Thursday, a week after its final passage in the Legislature. The law is scheduled to take effect in January 2013.
However, the ink won’t get a chance to dry as opponents are expected to petition the law to a referendum on the November ballot.
Referendum organizers need to collect almost 56,000 signatures to put the measure before voters and are expected to rely heavily on churchgoers who oppose same-sex marriage as a matter of faith, to reach that goal.
As of now, gay Maryland residents are cheerful as they have the right to marry. Congrats to all!