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Maryland Same-Sex Marriage One Step Closer to Passage

2012-02-21
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If the bill passes the state senate, Maryland would join six other states and D.C. in legalizing same-sex marraige
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If the bill passes the state senate, Maryland would join six other states and D.C. in legalizing same-sex marraige

A bill which would legalize gay marriage in Maryland is one step away from full passage, after being approved 7 to 4 by the Judicial Proceedings committee. This means the measure can now pass to the full senate for a final vote.

The bill was approved by senate committee this week, retained two key amendments. One would delay the effective date of the measure until January 2013, after a possible referendum. The second would further delay implementation until after any litigation caused by the referendum is settled.

The bill, which passed by a narrow margin in the state house last week, continues to get pushback from some clergy and faith-based groups, who claim the measure doesn’t protect religious liberties.

State Senator Jamie Raskin voted in favor of the bill: "This bill starts off by saying that no church will ever be required to solemnize any union that it doesn’t want to, and that doesn’t just apply to same-sex marriages, but to interfaith marriages interracial marriages; it’s completely up to the church."

Senator Nancy Jacobs voted against, and will push for a referendum on the issue on November's ballot.

"The effect that it has on people in churches -- I think you’re going to see a strong outcry from people of faith, from churches, from all sectors and all faiths."

Senate President Miller says he expects the final vote on the measure will happen later this week.

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