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Calif. Gay Marriage Ruling Could Impact Maryland

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A major federal court ruling on same-sex marriage on the other side of the country adds fuel to the heated debate here in Maryland.

Kai Jackson has more on the local implications of Proposition 8.

What’s happening in California is being viewed with great interest here in Maryland.

It’s a victory for supporters of same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, a federal appeals court in San Francisco overturned California’s ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8, in a 2-1 vote, calling it unconstitutional. It moves the issue one step closer to the Supreme Court.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley appeared on MSNBC’s Politics Nation with Al Sharpton Tuesday. O’Malley says he hopes the federal ruling in California will help Maryland pass a bill to allow same-sex couples to get married.

“I hope it’ll have a persuasive influence on those delegates who are open-minded and in order to persuade them to vote for our bill,” O’Malley said.

Last week, opponents of same-sex marriage rallied in Annapolis. They argued that the state should define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

“We’re here to represent what marriage is, the definition of marriage—one man, one woman,” said David and Lauren Arconti.

Jasmine and Natalie Pope are a same-sex couple who were married in Washington, D.C., where same-sex marriage is legal. They live in Pikesville.

“As far as the state of Maryland is concerned, we’re just two people who live together,” Natalie Pope said.

The couple supports Maryland’s same-sex marriage bill. Jasmine is pregnant and wants the same benefits heterosexual couples have.

“It’s frustrating when someone denies your family access to things that other citizens in your state may have,” Jasmine Pope said.

Currently six states and the District of Columbia allow gay couples to wed.

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