By: Christine Nicco/TRT Reporter–
Today, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has made history by signing the historic bill that extends marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples in his state. The newly signed law places Maryland as the eighth state to legalize gay marriage.
HRC President Joe Solmonese congratulated the governor’s work and support of the bill.
“The Governor’s signature today puts Maryland on the road to fairness for all families,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “This victory was possible thanks to the hard work of so many on the ground in Maryland. Our congratulations go to Governor O’Malley and our legislative allies who were incredible leaders in this effort.”
The other six states and the District of Columbia, which already issue same-sex marriage licenses, are: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Five other states currently allow same-sex couples to “unionize” via civil unions that provide rights similar to marriage, but not equal. They are: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
According to the HRC, “today’s legislative win for marriage equality comes at a historic moment. In the past few weeks, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled California’s discriminatory Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional; Governor Christine Gregoire signed marriage equality into law in Washington State; and a marriage bill passed the New Jersey legislature. Six states and the District of Columbia recognize marriage equality, with Washington State’s law set to go into effect in three months.”