Yesterday, the Maryland state Senate passed a marriage equality bill by a vote of 25 to 22 that will grant marriage equality to lesbian and gay couples. The bill, introduced by Governor Martin O’Malley, has already passed the Maryland House of Delegates and is expected to be signed by the Governor. Although the bill has passed the Maryland legislature, marriage equality foes are likely to begin the process of gathering the 55,726 signatures needed for a referendum be put on the November ballot.

“We could not be more grateful to the senators who today voted to make all Maryland families stronger,” said Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign. He also added, “There remains a lot of work to do between now and November to make marriage equality a reality in Maryland.”

Currently, Washington, Connecticut, Iowa, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington DC allow marriage of same-sex couples. Nine states, California, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Wisconsin, and Hawaii allow same-sex couples to form civil unions or domestic partnerships, which carry some of the benefits of marriage.

Huffington Post 2/23/12; Human Rights Campaign 2/23/12; National Conference of State Legislatures 2/13/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/14/11

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