The effort to legalize gay marriage has passed a long-standing hurdle in the Maryland House of Delegates. The House voted 71-67 Friday, to give gay couples the right to marry in the state.
Lawmakers debated the measure for hours, after a week of speculation on whether proponents would gather the votes needed.
Several amendments to the bill were rejected, including a measure creating civil unions and allowing parents to opt out of education programs that address same-sex relationships.
The measure now heads to the state Senate where last year it easily cleared the 47-member body. The chamber will likely debate the bill next week.
The House passage puts Maryland on the verge of being the eighth state to allow same-sex marriage.