On Friday, February 17, 2012 the Maryland House of Delegates passed HB 438, the Civil Marriage Protection Act. The act, which is similar to one passed in the Maryland Senate but failed to reach the House during the 2011 General Assembly session will allow individuals of the same sex to enter into civil marriages.
Governor Martin O’Malley introduced the bill as part of his 2012 Legislative Agenda. O’Malley, a Roman Catholic, said in a release concerning passage of the bill that, “Clergy and faith-based leaders, community leaders, civic organizations, civil rights groups, and citizens from across our State have reached the same conclusion that Americans in seven other states have reached – it is possible to protect individual civil marriage rights and religious freedom equally.”
Equality Maryland praised the vote saying, “Today’s vote is a huge step forward for all of us working to make marriage equality a reality in Maryland”
Most recently state legislatures in Washington and New Jersey passed legislation that allows for same sex marriage. Washington Governor, Chris Gregoire signed the bill into law while New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie vetoed that state’s bill.
(Data Source: HRC)