In an historic 25-22 vote Thursday night the Maryland Senate approved same-sex marriage, sending the legislation to the desk of Gov. Martin O’Malley for his signature.
But even as proponents celebrated their victory with hugs and smiles, they said they were ready for a likely November fight at the ballot box. Opponents are widely expected to collect enough signatures to put the new law before voters.
Six states — Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York — and the District of Columbia, currently issue same-sex marriage licenses. A Washington state law passed earlier this month takes effect in June.
California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage was recently held unconstitutional by a federal court, but an appeal is expected.
The same-sex marriage bill could reach O’Malley’s desk as early as Friday.