ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– A major victory for same-sex marriage supporters. The bill that failed last year is officially a law. WJZ spoke exclusively with Governor Martin O’Malley just moments after he signed.

Gigi Barnett has more on what’s next.

Even though the law was signed Thursday, it won’t take effect until January 2013. Supporters say they know the fight is far from over.

“And the bill is signed.”

A historic moment as the bill to legalize same-sex marriage becomes law.

“For all of the fear and all of the division, at the end of the day, human dignity wins out,” O’Malley said.

For some lawmakers, it is personal.

“This is like the best day of my political career. It’s one of the best days of my life,” Del. Maggie McIntosh, D-Baltimore City, said.

Supporters gathered to mark the day.

“I just want to be recognized. My wife wants to be recognized. And now we feel like full citizens in Maryland,” Michelle McLeod, who supports same-sex marriage, said.

“We’re looking to have a mass wedding at 12:01 on January, the first in our sanctuary,” Archbishop Joe Stuart of New Catholic Church said.

But same-sex marriage is far from a done deal. Opponents have already started the process to have it overturned.

“We are going to erase this bill,” Del. Emmett Burns, D-Baltimore County, said. “With a pencil it was signed. It was signed with a pencil, not with ink. We’re going to erase it.”

A petition to put same-sex marriage on the November ballot has been approved by the Board of Elections. Opponents need 56,000 signatures.

“The people of Maryland deserve to vote on this bill and we want to make sure they have that opportunity this coming November,” Del. Neil Parrott, R-Washington County, said.

Supporters admit there’s a long road ahead.

“It’s going to be an uphill battle. It’s going to be tough,” Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said. “People believe strongly on both sides of the issue.”

“If it comes to referendum, we feel confident,” Del. Luke Clippinger, D-Baltimore City, said.

The law will not take effect until January 2013, so opponents have time to get the issue on the November ballot.

Nationally, opponents have defeated same-sex marriage legislation in every state where it’s gone to referendum.

Comments (79)
  1. Deb says:

    Well, if it comes to this I hope they aren’t allowed to get married in certain churches. It is against some religions. I would be happy living with my husband not being married but having all the governmental rights. Shouldn’t have to explain that one.

    1. D says:

      If we’re pulling the religion card, living with a loved one while not being married is also against some religions…

      1. Gerry P says:

        Depends on what your religion shopping cart has in it….

    2. S says:

      Same sex married couples still do not have any federal marriage rights. Only those at the state level, so as long as the marriage is only recognized by e state and not the federal gov, the rights are still not equal to opposite sex marriage.

  2. B says:

    What happened to the seperation of church and state… For real people.. Beleive what you want… Live how you want… Someone else’s choices dont affect you.. Thats the good thing about life.. We are free to make our own choices.. I dont see why the world has made this such a big deal… REALLY!!!!

    1. auntb2012 says:

      thank you very much. as a member of the gay community i dont understand the big deal either. i go to school, i pay taxes, i go to work i pay bills like a straight person. and yet i cant marry who i want to be with. i understand that yes it is against some religions. but yet i dont understand why people cant just let me be happy. the would rather worry about who iam marrying other then the fact that gas is about to be up to 5 bucks a gallon.

      1. lrmaryland says:

        No not true. If they spent less time worrying about such matters as these our damn gas wouldn’t be $5 a gallon. You, me and everyone else would be happy if they just didnt make such a big deal out of it. You can do whatever you like to be happy.

    2. lrmaryland says:

      Me either, or why they have wasted so much money we don’t have to waste on it. To each’s own what they choose.

    3. vic says:


      1. Jenny says:

        How? People keep saying that, but they never explain how.

      2. saywhat says:

        How does it affect you Vic?

  3. demo65 says:

    call it what you want but don’t call it a marriage. why is it so important to they gays for force acceptance.

    1. Claire M. says:

      no one is forcing you to accept anything – you can continue to be as small minded and bigoted as you want to be.

    2. zebu says:

      Why is it so important for you to keep that word for yourself? Didn’t your parents teach you to share?

    3. auntb2012 says:

      who is forcing it.

      1. auntb2012 says:

        we just want equal rights

  4. Claire M. says:

    Really it is all about love and the equality to be there with their life partner in a hospital when they are dying, sharing a life and being recognized as a couple. No one is forcing same sex marriage on anyone – just allowing people to marry the person that they love regardless of sex. It is the small minded people who think that the world is going to end because of this, I know more same sex couples with happy stable relationships then I do man/woman couples. It really is all about love …. grow up people!!!

  5. auntb2012 says:

    yes its not that us gay folks are forcing you to be gay or anything we just want rights. i would settle for a civil union if it ment my wife and i got the same rights as a married couple. i cant be sorry for my way of life because i have had my fair share of men, and it didnt end well. i was molested as a child by a man and my last serious boyfriend gave me and std i have to life with. so tell me would you have faith in men. i am with a women cause i choose to be she understands me and accepts me for who i am and thats what its all about

  6. stacy says:

    Gods word says 1 man 1 women why change our law this is not right there are no excuses

    1. Jenny says:

      Freedom of religion. God is nothing but a belief. Stop pushing it on others.

      1. D says:

        I saw Jesus when I was a child and will never forget it. So don’t say it’s a belief. He is real.

    2. saywhat says:

      FYI, God didn’t write the bible, so it’s not God’s word.

      1. david says:

        one day die your will have face God what say here. THat sad day that tell God he lie here. you see where your going after that.

  7. auntb2012 says:

    and yet its ok for a white person to marry a black person

    1. short set says:

      where in the bible does it say a black and white can’t marry

      1. just sayin' says:

        Wher in the bible does it say that a man and a lamb can’t be married?

  8. auntb2012 says:

    can some one tell me what the big deal is. if god was against why would he even allow the thoughts in our head

    1. KD says:

      The lord gives you your world and leaves you his…as it says in the bible…are you with god or do you have your own will….that is why those thoughts are in your is your will…not the will of god…just disrespect

      1. Jenny says:

        God gave us free will. If he didn’t want everyone to be happy, he wouldn’t have given us free will. But God shouldn’t have anything to do with this issue. We are talking about legal rights and benefits that EVERYONE deserves, straight, gay, married or single.

  9. auntb2012 says:

    and yet i am just like you i go to school, pay my bills, pay my taxes. and yet cant marry who i want to. who knows maybe i dont agree with some things you do. its ok for illegal people to live here and get stuff for free like insurance, and food stamps and yet your against me marrying who i want to. please tell me what would you do if your child came to you and told you they were gay would you disown them. or give them the love a support that you are suppose to as a parents

  10. h8nsbad says:

    The law contains very broad religious exemptions for the church, their non-profits, fraternal orders, properties, tax exempt status, etc. If you haven’t had the chance to actually read it, do so. I was surprised at how well balanced and straightforward the legislation is. I am proud of my state and hope this stands.

    1. saywhat says:

      Perhaps you should type in caps, most of these folks don’t seem to understand the details of this bill.

  11. mars says:

    Great job maryland, its time this nation stop denying people the right to get married just because they love someone different then you. and for the people that say that “gay people cant love child the same was tradtional marriages”. I am here to tell you that your wrong and I know of many gay couples that have adopted childern and love them the same as you and I. And finally the whole debate about gay marriage will cause tradtional marriage to end, well if that thats the case explain to me why tradtional marriages end 50 percent of the time. I dont think we will that issue with this new right and freedom.

  12. Jay says:

    I would rather live in a city of married gay couples then a city of knuckle dragging criminals……..And im a straight married male!!!

    1. short set says:

      this is one of the most honest statements i have read yet..kudos

    2. AngryLezly says:

      Thank you so much for making this statement!!

  13. Joe says:

    More of Marylands tax payers money wasted by Omally. He is an idiot and by the way the gay population in the us is 4 to 5%. Give me a break!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Mike says:

    Omalley, don’t presume to know what I want for my children. You’re as worthless as a 3 dollar bill. When you’re no longer our Governor, good riddance!!

  15. lrmaryland says:

    I don’t care either way about the marriage thing, to each his/her own however, this seems to be the only thing they have done in Annapolis in a year besides raise taxes. WTH are they doing on everyone’s behalf for the equality of living soundly?

  16. 1-0-3-0 WITHERSPOON- says:

    now that this is over can omally do anything for maryland postive

  17. GladToBeGone4ever says:

    SAD! that is why I left the peoples republic of Bloodymore Murderland! O’Malley…do you feel like you accomplished something? I hope I never lay eyes on Maryland ever again. Filthy disgusting state!

    1. Jenny says:

      Yet, you are on our news channel. Go away if you don’t like us

  18. Jay says:

    AGAIN….I would rather live in a city of married gay couples then a city of knuckle dragging criminals……..And im a straight married male!!!

  19. Michael Spencer says:

    @GladToBeGone4ever Grow up! Maryland is a wonderful place and this is just about two people sharing love and wanting to share the responsibilities that come with a civil union. I just wished the Federal Government would accept Deeds of Relationships ( As many Western Countries do ) as proof to immigrate.I am an American Citizen but my partner is Australian. If that was the case we would be back in Maryland in a heart beat.

    1. smdh!! says:

      smh they all r gonna go to hell

  20. Say what? says:

    remember folks .It’s all about the

  21. smdh!! says:

    smh god forgive them i dont want my kids to be walking around seeing this god forgive them!!!!

  22. cHARMcity says:

    At the end of the day folks it doesnt really matter…. I just hope O’Malley focus on some other issues like he focused on this… This is somrthing that didnt really need the hype… Just sign it get it over with and move on… 2 women or 2 men getting married is not saving me NO money…. So next topic

  23. Mom says:

    The gay couples already exist, that will not change. It is not illegal to be gay. If you are not gay, this law will not effect you. States and countries where gay marriage is legal have not “gone to heck”, things are the same. Gay people will still work, shop, live & worship where you do. They will still teach your kids, fill your prescriptions, drive your bus or sell you insurance. They will still pay taxes. Some of them will travel to Maryland and spend their money here to get married & that will benefit us all. The bill concerns marriage as a civil ceremony, it has nothing to do with weddings as a religious ceremony performed in a church. My religion does not even perform marriages at all as, in our religion, marriage is considered a civil ceremony and not a religious one. Nobody will force you to marry someone of the same gender. If you chose to never attend such a union, that is your right.

    Church and state are separate in this country, so it is irrelevant what some particular religion’s book says. Law is not to be determined by the Bible, Dharma, Torah, Quran, Gita, L Ron Hubbard or whatever book you find holy. You may follow those books in your home & church, but do not try to force them on others. You have no right to deny some the same right and happiness that the majority already has. If you want to live in a church state, you may move to Tehran.

    1. mr.right says:

      what are you talking about until now marriage has always been a sacred The institution between a Man & a Woman the liberal elites (o’malley) and the gay mafia have forced this stuff on Marylanders

      1. Mom says:

        Marriage has not always been “sacred”- look at the divorce rate, it is increasingly something some people change more often than their socks. If you are making a claim like this, please cite your non-religious source. Since when is “always”? – many ancient peoples did not have any sort of marriage ceremony at all. In my religion, it is not a religious ceremony and is not performed by church officials as it is a deemed a civil ceremony. If marriage is “sacred”, why isn’t divorce too? Divorce is a civil process, isn’t it? Do you go to the church to get a divorce? If some church wants to perform and bless marriages, that is up to them.

        The gay mafia, what is that LOL! Nobody will be forced to marry anyone or to have multiple wives or force teen girls to marry them like some of the Christians do. You will not be forced to do anything nor will your church and you can believe marriage is whatever you want it to be. The dictionary does not define marriage as only between a man and a woman and how your church defines it is irrelevant as we are talking about a civil process and not a religious ceremony. Practice your religion as you see fit and allow others to do the same.

      2. Gerry P says:

        Marriage has indeed always been sacred. The degree of sacredness has increased with the increase in understanding of its nature, that is until the last century in particular. With the advent of birth control, sex has become cheap and common and hearts cold and unloving and the divorce rate skyrocketed. The natural has been replaced with the unnatural, and all of the world is suffering. The people who caused this disaster are pretending to hold the cure whereas in fact they are making it even worse. Those people are the cause of a plethora of venereal diseases including AIDS and HPV, which, thanks to them, Planned Parenthood, by name, an institution founded on the same eugenic genocidal principals as Nazi Germany, just about all women in their lifetimes will have been infected by HPV alone. Birth control has made love cheap and is the source of the greatest level of sexual abuse in human and para-human history. It makes sex sterile and infecund and turns children into objects of possession, not the fruit of love. I know of no one who has forgone children but for a life of frivolous pleasure with expensive vacations, meaningless careers and so forth. On the one hand, we do everything not to have children, and on the other, employ disgustingly expensive and often immoral methods of attaining pregnancy. So, which is it, that pregnancy is a pathology or not. It either is or it is not. If it is, medicine should be working to make the human race extinct as it is for minority races now. If it is not, then leave it l=alone to work within the bounds of natural law which is tha tlaw which makes human beings to be human and apart from which human beings cannot be fulfilled.
        Church and law ARE NOT SEPARATE IN THIS COUNTRY. The religions of secularism and anti-theism are in vogue in our courts and legislative halls with a big leaning toward totalitarianism. The “sex” religion of Margaret Sanger is being rammed down the throats of institutions and children everywhere in the United States to the tune of massive increase in violence (read the recent news), suicide, dissatisfaction in life, sexual abuse, venereal disease, monosexuality (often the result of sexual abuse) and so forth. Government offers no hope for society anymore.

  24. MyRightsCountToo says:

    The Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman. I understand why those who have same sex partners want a legal union that is recognized so they can make a commitment to another person and for insurance purposes and etc….However, call it what it is a Legal Union, it is not a Marriage. Now that millions of dollars have been spent on this, I guess now we will we have to pay to redefine marriage in all the dictionaries and good luck changing the word of God in the Bible, Then again, it seems our government officials think they are above God and our country and the principles we were founded on mean nothing, So just remember when the Government can force a church to go against the word of God by allowing Marriages to take place between same sex partners, you agree that politicians are above God and marriage is no longer sacred. Again, my belief is Marriage is between a man and a woman, if same sex partners want recognition and rights then call it a Leagl Union, Civil Partnership, or Dual Conjoinment but dont take away my right and my belief in what the word Marriage represents to me and God,

    1. Mom says:

      NO CHURCH WILL BE FORCED TO PERFORM GAY MARRIAGES! The law concerns CIVIL UNIONS, not religious ceremonies. What happens inside your church is up the that church and it may or may not preform gay marriages. You can define marriage however you want to, it’s just a word and we are talking about equal rights for all & not playing Scrabble. God is a religious figure and is not significant to all people. I am a Buddhist, I do not believe in your God or your Bible just as you do not follow my religion’s sacred texts. Your Bible condones slavery & polygamy, doesn’t it? Church & state need to remain separate. I am not gay, but I think all citizens should have the right to marry the person they chose to and you or my religious beliefs shouldl not apply to others. The law would not change anything for folks who are not gay. Gay people exist, so live with it and please stop trying to make them live according you your religion. If a god created people and Jesus loves them like your book says, then means the gay ones too, right? If you think being gay is a sin, your god will forgive gay people, so let them be.


      1. whatnow says:

        The law may call it a civil union, but gay people will call it a marriage. One gay woman on here already called her partner her “wife”. I don’t have a problem with gay civil unions. I agree they have rights. But why must other people give up their rights? Why can’t their be a compromise everyone can live with and live in harmony.

      2. Jenny says:

        @whatnow- who is taking away your rights? Nobody is telling you to divorce your spouse and marry someone of the same gender. This is about giving gay couples the same LEGAL RIGHTS AND BENEFITS that married couples have. It has nothing to do with God or Church. If your church does not believe in same sex marriages they do not have to perform them. You should read the bill.

        This is just about legal rights that is all. The right for their children to have both parents without having to go through the adoption process. The right for their partner to be able to make medical decisions if anything were to happen to them. These are all LEGAL RIGHTS that married people have that gay people do not.

        Some families disown their child when they announce that they are gay and they are left with NO ONE. So yes, it would be good if that person and their partner could be recognized as a legal couple. Civil unions did not provide all of those rights which is why civil marriage is best.

      3. Gerry P says:

        Firstly, as with all totalitarian systems, eventually there will be attempts to force religion into perversity. The Nazis did, the Communists did and do, the social elitists of the Planned Parenthood movement do.
        Religion is a very valid argument. All religions consistently throughout the history of humanity have reflected on the same natural law and have come up with remarkably similar conclusions. This is about natural law which is that law which is ingrained in the human person that makes them to be human. Unless its dictates are conformed to, a person cannot be authentically human. This is why until now societies have worked hard to protect their children from the deviations from natural law-so that their children can be authentically happy.

  25. Larry says:

    It’s a sad day to be a Marylander.

    1. S says:

      Yes, sad that thousands of people in MD must wait until 2013 to have equal rights at the state level. I wish would take effect much sooner.

  26. Liz says:

    O’Mally loves illegals and gays
    Time for a change you betcha

    1. Stupidity Rules says:

      O’Malley loves O’Malley…he does nothing without getting something for himself in return. He is moving to the federal level now so he addresses nationwide issues. He is done in Maryland. He used the City and State for his own political agenda and recieved 2 pensions in less then 20 years for his “service” to the people.

      1. Gerrry P says:

        Yes, he does love himself and boasts of being a “C” student in law school.
        —from one of the Mrs. O’Malware “cowards”

  27. Markc says:

    Church halls that rent for wedding receptions will probably not be exempt from the law as many seem to think. Since church halls are rented for non-religious events they won’t be able to stand on their religious beliefs since the rental of a hall isn’t contingent on those beliefs.

  28. BiteMe says:

    It’s about time they stop wasting time on this subject and move on to real issues like lowering the $1.35 billion budget gap in 2012

  29. M.A. says:

    Did all three of these stooges hold hands @ the signing & shout Goom by ya?

  30. whatnow says:

    To Jenny above: They already have the same legal rights with legal contracts. I know. I work in a law firm. The health issue is dead, there is a health care power of attorney. You can deed property in a way that the other person automatically inherits it. You can leave your life insurance to whomever you please. A lot of companies already let you get health care for a partner if you are gay but not for someone you are living with if you are hetero. Someone will still have to adopt a baby because 2 women or 2 men cannot have a child. And it DOES take away heteros rights that have absolutely NOTHING to do with church. To a lot of married heteros who are NOT religious, the words husband and wife have a special meaning that IS diluted when it becomes wife and wife and husband and husband. And I support civil unions, I know quite a few gay people and love quite a few of them immensely. But they can call this civil union on paper all they want, it will be called marriage and wife and wife in the real world. But of course, it is only the breeders that have to compromise, gay people would never dream of it because they are the only one with rights.

  31. rj says:

    Married a divorce woman many year ago. The church i attended at the time would not marry us. Nobody force them just got married in another church three grandchildren later I still think as i did then that people have should have right to marry who they want .

  32. LJT says:

    Where can I sign this petition?!!!!!!

  33. Sylvan Finkelstein says:


    1. Gerry P says:

      They subscribe to the narcissistic model—Each is already wed to their ego. Right now they have narci mirrors so that they can keep their self-love relationship stable.

      I believe in “same-sex” marriage. That is, anybody can marry anyone who is a member of the “same sex as the opposite sex”!

      1. S says:

        This is soooo not about narcissism. Actually it’s quite the opposite. It’s about Wanting to be able to care for and protect loved ones under the law.

  34. david says:

    Rom. 14:11-12). May our God and Father help us to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of Him (2 Cor. 7:1). May the Eternal God give us strength to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them (Eph. 5:11).

  35. david says:

    Leviticus 20:13
    English Standard Version (ESV)

    13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them
    I dont care men say I care God say. That what goes here. When die have answer to God not Governor of md

  36. john says:

    All Christains churches in Maryland need to team up and throw law out allowing Gay Marriage. Also if Governor of MD doesnt repent and turn from his evil ways and come back live holy live for Lord JesusChrist then he will be cures by God almighty and he be gave over to rebate mind live enternal in HELL WHEN HE DIES.

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