“It’s been a long time coming,” said Scales, who made a Christmas present of his marriage license to Tasker. Couples in Maryland have been able to obtain their marriage licenses since Dec. 6, with the provision that couples could not actually become legally married until the law takes effect Jan. 1.
The measure equality law, which contains exemptions for religious organizations that choose not to marry same-sex couples, passed the House of Delegates in last February in a close vote.
Gov. Martin O’Malley, who promised in his 2010 re-election campaign to work toward enacting marriage equality while in office, made good on his promise and signed the bill in March.
Opponents then gathered enough signatures to put the bill to a statewide vote, which passed on Nov. 6 with 52 percent in favor. Voters in Maine and Washington state also approved same-sex marriage at the ballot box in November. The Maine law took effect on Dec. 29, and the Washington state law took effect on Dec. 6.
In total, nine states and the District of Columbia have approved same-sex marriage. The other states are Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Yorkand Vermont.
As Illinois and Hawaii have been added to the list of states legalized marriage between same-sex couples, many states still deny the full spectrum of rights associated with marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships by denying non-traditional couples the right to divorce. To further complicate matters, there are states that do not allow same-sex marriage [...]