RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ)– Same-sex couples are one step closer to walking down the aisle legally in Maryland. The Civil Marriage Protection Act narrowly passed in the House of Delegates.
Weijia Jiang has reaction from supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage.
Twenty years ago, Michelle McGirt and Tracey Taylor found love at first sight.
“I love being with Tracey for the rest of my life,” McGirt said.
The couple raised two kids together. And five years ago, even walked down the aisle.
“We’re as committed as any heterosexual couple,” Taylor said.
But their union is only recognized in Vermont, one of a handful of states where same-sex marriage is legal.
In Randallstown– where they call home– it’s not, yet.
Soon it could be. In this historic moment, the Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
“It’s been an emotional, amazing experience,” Del. Luke Clippinger, D-Baltimore City, said.
It was also a huge victory for the governor, who sponsored the bill after a similar one failed to get through the House last year.
“We all want the same thing for our kids,” he said. “We want them to live in homes that are loving, stable, protected equally under the law.”
Activists on both sides believe Maryland voters will make the final call in a November referendum.
“It ain’t over until it’s over,” Del. Emmett Burns, D-Baltimore County, said.
Opponents promise a tough fight ahead.
“The definition of marriage– one man, one woman,” David Arconti of Annapolis said.
But so do supporters.
“I’m proud of my state and proud to be a Marylander at this time,” David Mold of Baltimore said.
“We’re jumping around, we’re just– for the cameras– are being still,” McGirt said. “But inside we’re bouncing off the walls. We want it to happen,” Taylor added.
The bill will now head over to the Senate where it is expected to pass just as it did last year. But both sides believe it will then go to referendum in November so it could be Maryland voters who make the final call.
If voters approve the measure, the earliest a gay couple could wed in Maryland is January when the law would go into effect.