Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on Thursday signed a bill that will allow gays and lesbians to marry.
“The Governor’s signature today puts Maryland on the road to fairness for all families,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “This victory was possible thanks to the hard work of so many on the ground in Maryland. Our congratulations go to Governor O’Malley and our legislative allies who were incredible leaders in this effort.”
The state Senate on Feb. 23 approved the measure by a 25-22 margin, while the House of Delegates passed the bill earlier in the month. Opponents of marriage for same-sex couples in Maryland are expected to collect enough signatures for a referendum on the issue in November.
The passage of the state’s marriage equality bill is the latest in a series of victories that have given added momentum to the movement for nuptials for same-sex couples.
A federal appeals court last month upheld a ruling that found California’s voter-approved ban on marriage for same-sex couples unconstitutional. A federal judge in San Francisco on Feb. 22 found that the federal Defense of Marriage Act unfairly discriminated against a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals staff lawyer who had sought health insurance for her wife.