Religious leaders in Maryland say citizens will get the final say on a gay "marriage" bill that is set to become law -- with churches playing a critical role in possibly overturning it.
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The Maryland Senate passed a bill Thursday (Feb. 23) by a vote of 25-22 that would redefine marriage, less than a week after the House of Delegates approved the same bill, 72-67. Democrats control both chambers, and Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley -- who endorsed the bill in his State of the State address -- is expected to sign it.
Maryland is but the latest state to act on the issue in what has been a dizzying year on the state level: Washington's governor signed a gay "marriage" bill, New Jersey's governor vetoed one and a coalition in Maine gathered enough valid signatures to place a gay "marriage" referendum on the fall ballot.
Like Washington state, Maryland law allows citizens to gather signatures in an attempt to "veto" new laws. Signature drives in both states likely will be successful. Maryland church groups must gather approximately 56,000 valid signatures for it to go on the November ballot.
A coalition has been formed known as Maryland Marriage Alliance (www.MarylandMarriageAlliance.com) to fight the law, which isn't set to take effect until January 2013.
SOURCE: Baptist Press