Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has just signed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. This bring the total number of states to eight.
(Sen. Richard Madaleno (D-Montgomery) celebrates with Rep. Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore City), left, and Rep. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery), all three of whom are openly gay, after the Senate approved a gay marriage bill. (Patrick Semansky – AP) )
According to the Washington Post
In one of the grandest stagings for any bill signing in recent memory, O’Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D- Calvert) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) sat at a table erected at the bottom of a marble staircase leading to the second floor of the State House and O’Malley’s office.
Behind O’Malley was Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) and First Lady Katie O’Malley who had also advocated forcefully for the bill.
More than 50 gay rights leaders and clergy members lined the ascending staircase. Hundreds of onlookers, lawmakers and 15 television cameras crowded in the hallway.
“For a free and diverse people, for a people of many faiths, for a people committed to the principle of religious freedom, the way forward is always found through greater respect for the equal rights of all, for the human dignity of all,” O’Malley said.
The Maryland law will take effect on January 1, 2013 provided it is not repealed by referendum in November. But let us be optimistic and know that Maryland will join Washington (as of June 7), Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont and the District of Columbia as a place where everyone is free to marry the person of their choosing. So far, the sky has not fallen.