Annapolis, MD —
With a slim margin of 71-67, the Maryland House of Delegates this evening passed same-sex marriage legislation. The Maryland Senate approved the measure last year and none of the State Senators are expected to change their votes, indicating that the bill will arrive on Governor Martin O'Malley's (D) desk and he has promised his signature.
The vote was not along party lines and split with some black Democrats voting against the measure under pressure from local religious leaders and Republican delegates who crossed over against their establishment.
Former Vice-President Richard Cheney, a conservative Republican who has a lesbian daughter, lobbied for the bill prior to its passage.
Maryland will join seven other states and the District of Columbia legalizing same-sex marriage in the U.S.
The New Jersey legislature passed same-sex marriage laws this week, but Governor Chris Christie (R) vetoed the bill this afternoon. Currently, there are not enough votes to override his decision.