Equality minded political figures in Maryland believe they have enough support to introduce a measure to legalize same-sex marriage this legislative term. Maryland would be the seventh sixth state (Sorry, California!) to institute marriage equality. The state will be in excellent company, joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.
Any state making waves to treat all of its citizens with the dignity and respect they deserve earns out applause, but Maryland is really an exceptional addition to the group. Maryland is historically considered a border state, straddling the North and South of the country. During the American Civil War, a quarter of the state fought for the Confederate Army, even though the state never seceded from the Union. Looking at a map today, you might not think of Maryland as geographically southern, but for hundreds of years it’s been considered part of the South. Maryland employing full equality for it’s LGBT citizens is quite a big deal.
Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley has gone on the record saying he will sign the bill if it comes to his desk. However, it’s not all sunshine and roses just yet. Evan Glass reports, “Even if same-sex marriage eventually becomes law in Maryland, opponents could collect 55,000 signatures and force a referendum on the subject in 2012.”
It looks like we still may have a bit of a rollercoaster ride on our hands here, but one way or another, expect big change in Maryland this year. We’ll keep you posted!
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