Maryland Governor Signs Gay-Marriage Bill
But opponents plan for November referendum
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2012 6:55 PM CST
Rep. Maggie McIntosh, D-Baltimore City, center, poses for a picture with her partner Dianne Stollenwerk, left, and Stollenwerk's son, Dylan Thomas.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – And then there were eight: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into law today a measure making same-sex marriage legal in the state, reports the Baltimore Sun. One of the pens went to delegate Maggie McIntosh, the state's first openly gay lawmaker. "The way forward is always found through greater respect for the equal rights of all," said O'Malley. "Let's sign the bill." The law, however, does not take effect until 2013, and opponents plan to put it up for referendum on the November ballot.

According to AP, the outcome will likely hinge on black churches. Many leaders of those churches oppose same-sex marriage, and they've already begun pushing the issue in sermons. That's pivotal, because the state is one-third black, and turnout is expected to be heavy among African-Americans given President Obama's bid for re-election.

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