maryland may be the 6th state to recognize same-sex marriage

gay marriage rights map

Maryland could soon be joining the small number of states to recognize same-sex marriage. Proponents believe they have enough support to pass a marriage equality measure as Maryland’s General Assembly begins its 90-day session Wednesday. Maryland would join Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C., in sanctioning same-sex marriages.

Maryland has been slowly taking steps toward granting more rights and protections for the LGBT community. “We’ve been marching in this direction for a while now,” said Democratic state Delegate Heather Mizeur, one of the state’s seven openly gay legislators. “It just took a little while to get us there, but we’re seizing the moment. It’s our time,” Mizeur said.

Sadly, even if same-sex marriage becomes law in Maryland, opponents could collect 55,000 signatures and force a referendum on the subject in 2012. Equality Maryland is expecting such a referendum to be held and said they are hopeful that it will be the first time that a same-sex marriage law is approved in a statewide popular vote.