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Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed In Maryland Senate

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After passing the Senate, the bill heads to the House of Delegates and then to Gov. Martin O'Malley for a final signature.
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After passing the Senate, the bill heads to the House of Delegates and then to Gov. Martin O'Malley for a final signature.

ORIGINAL POST: By Matt Bush

Maryland lawmakers could take a crucial step Thursday in making the state the sixth in the country to recognize same-sex marriage.

The state Senate is scheduled to take a final vote on a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. The measure is expected to pass the House, and Gov. Martin O'Malley has said he will sign it.

Senators narrowly gave the measure a preliminary OK on Wednesday, but not before opponents tried to attach several amendments, most of which failed. Republican E.J. Pipkin was happy a few were OK'd.

"It's a bad bill, it will be decided, ultimately I believe, in referendum. But, look, we've got more religious protections on the bill. We protected fraternal organizations, and we clarified the title," he says.

One amendment that failed would have prevented same-sex marriage from being mentioned in elementary school classrooms. Democrat Richard Madaleno, who's openly gay, was asked what it was like to listen to some of the amendments, some of which were called discriminatory or worse by his colleagues.

"It can be somewhat uncomfortable to be sitting here to listen through it. But, I know...this is part of the process, having this debate," he says.

Supporters say they have enough votes to stop any filibuster attempts Thursday.

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