Same-sex marriage proponents had one more reason to celebrate today.Governor Mike O’Malley or Maryland signed into law a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.
“We are one Maryland and all of us at the end of the day want the same thing for our children,” the governor said right before signing.
The Maryland House of Delegates voted 72-67 to approve the measure less than two weeks ago.
“The common thread running through our efforts together in Maryland is the thread of human dignity; the dignity of work, the dignity of faith, the dignity of family, the dignity of every individual. Love is an unalienable right,” O’Malley said in a statement released earlier this week.
However couples will have to wait until January 1, 2013 until they can actually get married.
And critics of same-sex marriage are already gearing up to repeal the bill. Opponents plan on gathering enough signatures to petition the bill next November on the ballot.
For most of his political career, Governor O’Malley opposed same-sex marriage. But last year he came out in support of the cause. O’Malley said that for a long time he had “misjudged” the issue.
“I think good leaders, who are progressive leaders, always try to be a force for building consensus that moves us forward.
“For a long time, I though that consensus point was civil unions. I was mistaken, I misjudged, the public moved forward more quickly on this issue than I had thought we would as a people,” he said.
Six states plus the District of Columbia have already passed legislation in support same-sex marriage — Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. Five states currently allow civil unions, which provide similar rights to marriage — Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
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