Maryland Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Gay Marriage

Maryland's governor signed into law Thursday a bill to legalize gay marriage, although opponents vowed to rally voters to reverse the change this fall in a referendum that's even anticipated by advocates of the new law. "Religious freedom was the very reason for our state's founding and at the heart of religious freedom is the freedom of individual conscience," Gov. Martin O'Malley said before signing the legislation that made Maryland the eighth state in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage. The law takes effect in 2013. Six states and the District of Columbia currently recognize gay marriages. The state of Washington also has legalized gay marriage; its law takes effect in June. Voters there also are expected to petition the measure to referendum this fall. (03/02/12)

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