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Maryland House Votes To Legalize Gay Marriage

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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.

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