MARYLAND: Marriage Bill Introduced
Yesterday lawmakers in Maryland introduced a marriage equality bill.
Maryland's gay-marriage bill, HB 55, was introduced by Delegate Luis Simmons and 16 co-sponsors. The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act uses the same language as previous bills - establishing that a marriage between "two individuals" who are otherwise permitted to marry would be "valid in the state." The bill also states that Maryland clergy need not perform marriages that violate their religion's tenets. A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the Maryland Senate, according to state Sen. Rich Magdaleno, an openly gay representative from Montgomery County. "I have never been so optimistic about getting this [gay marriage] done," he told the Washington Blade earlier this month.Most expect the bill to pass relatively easily. Anti-gay activists are already working on setting up a repeal referendum for the 2012 ballot.