The Maryland Senate passed legislation Thursday to legalize same-sex marriages. The vote followed a long debate of personal stories, references to religion and civil rights.
The Senate voted 25-to-21 to send the bill to the House of Delegates, where advocates acknowledge they might be a few votes shy of a majority. However, the House is traditionally more liberal than the Senate and marriage-equality advocates have expressed optimism and hope.
Maryland would join five other states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay marriage, if the bill passes. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has promised to sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.