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Md. House passes same-sex marriage bill

Feb. 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

ANNAPOLIS, Md., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The Maryland House of Delegates Friday voted 71-67 to approve a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, which is expected to pass the state Senate next week.

Passage of the Civil Marriage Protection Act puts Maryland on the brink of becoming the eighth U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. The state Senate passed a similar bill last year and is expected to approve Friday's legislation next week, The Baltimore Sun reported.

"We should extend to families, same-sex loving couples, the right to marry in a civil ceremony," Del. Maggie McIntosh, a Democrat, said before the vote -- after recounting her coming-out story, The Washington Post reported. "I'm going to ask you today, my colleagues, to make history."

"Same-sex marriage is wrong," Del. Emmett Burns, also a Democrat, said. "I believe that people who are gay have a right to be that, but the word 'marriage' should not be attached."

Gov. Christine Gregoire Monday signed into law making Washington the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Friday vetoed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage but said same-sex couples deserve the "very same rights" as married couples.

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