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Maryland Marriage Equality Prospects Strong

Maryland Marriage Equality Prospects Strong


Signs look increasingly positive for marriage equality in Maryland next year, where a majority of state senators on the key Judicial Proceedings Committee now support a bill that would legalize same-sex marriages.

According to The Washington Post, the senate committee changes result from the elections in which Maryland bucked national trends that favored more conservative leadership and positions.

"Membership changes on the panel, where same-sex marriage bills have previously died, are among a handful of shifts produced by last month's elections," reports the Post. "Collectively, they appear to have tipped the balance on the most high-profile social issue the General Assembly will consider during its upcoming 90-day session."

Leaders in the house of delegates say they have the votes to pass the bill, and Gov. Martin O'Malley has pledged to sign it.

However, observers say that the influence of the Catholic church and more conservative African-American churches remains strong in the state. If a marriage equality bill passes in Maryland, opponents could use a provision that allows them to petition recently passed laws to the ballot, the Post reports. They would need to collect enough signatures to put the measure on hold until voters consider it in a 2012 referendum.

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