On March 1, 2012, Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley signed the equality bill, legalizing gay marriage in Maryland. Maryland is the eighth state to legalize same-sex marriage. The state follows Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Washington state, and the District of Columbia.
"Religious freedom was the very reason for our state’s founding and at the heart of religious freedom is the freedom of individual conscience," O’Malley said before signing the bill.
Opponents are pushing to overturn the marriage equality law. Right wing and religious groups are investing a lot of money to keep the referendum from being approved.
Supporters remain optimistic despite measures to overturn the bill, “We remain confident that voters will echo Governor O’Malley’s support for full equality,” said Mike Thompson, Acting President of GLADD.
New Jersey Legislatures approved gay marriage rights, giving it the chance to be the eight state with equal marriage rights. Although Gov. Christie says he will veto the bill, the LGBT community of NJ is still celebrating the historical step taken. The Huffington Post quoted:
"Steven Goldstein, chairman of the gay rights group Garden State Equality, echoed the speaker’s sentiments.
'Today, the Legislature has brought us to the promised land,” said Goldstein. “We know the governor won't let us enter, but we finally behold the view of our dreams and we will never turn back.'”
Congratulations New Jersey on being one step closer!