The Maryland Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry.
The 25-22 vote came less than a week after the House of Delegates approved the same measure.
“It’s thrilling that Maryland is poised to make [marriage equality] a reality by becoming the latest state to treat its families fairly,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
The vote came a day after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Three judges with the same federal appellate court earlier this month upheld a previous ruling that California’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on Feb. 13 signed her state’s marriage equality bill into law, while New Jersey lawmakers approved a similar measure days later that Gov. Chris Christie subsequently vetoed.
Governor Martin O’Malley is expected to sign his state’s marriage equality bill into law in the coming days, but opponents of nuptials for gays and lesbians have pledged to force a November ballot initiative to decide the issue.