Maryland Voters Make History by Passing Same-Sex Marriage Ballot Initiative

Gay marriage is one of the most important civil rights issues of the decade. After a nail-biting battle, voters in Maryland narrowly passed Question 6, the ballot initiative granting same-sex couples the right to marry. Same-sex couples in Maryland had already been given the right to marry when the State Legislature passed a bill during the 2012 session that was signed by Governor Martin O’Malley. However, opponents of the movement gathered enough signatures to take the issue to the ballot, putting the bill on hold pending Tuesday night’s results.
Before Tuesday, no state had ever legalized same-sex marriage through a ballot referendum – a cause that had been previously rejected over 30 times at the ballot box. However, Maryland, Maine and Washington State broke new ground when they passed initiatives granting same-sex couples the right to marry. Maryland, Maine and Washington now join six other states (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont), as well as the District of Columbia, that previously gave gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry.
In Maryland, same-sex couples will be able to marry beginning January 1, 2013. Tuesday’s election results indicate a shift in public opinion and are evidence of a positive step toward full equality for all individuals nationwide.