The Maryland State Senate approved marriage equality earlier today by a vote of 25 to 22. Less than a week ago the proposal passed the state House of Delegates. The measure now goes to Governor Martin O’Malley, who has already indicated he will sign the bill into law.
Along with the District of Columbia, this will make Maryland the eighth state to approve marriage equality legislation. However, opponents of the proposal have already indicated that they plan to force the measure to a referendum in November. They will need to gather about 56,000 valid signatures of Maryland voters to do so.
The battle this Fall is likely to be a close one because of substantial opposition to marriage equality among white conservatives as well as many in the black community who normally support progressive measures.