The Maryland House of Delegates approved a bill that would achieve marriage equality in the state.
The bill passed 71-67. It will now head to the state Senate, which passed a similar bill last session before being halted in the House. Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has pledged to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.
The bill received support from some surprising sources; former vice president Dick Cheney, whose daughter Mary is openly gay, urged Maryland Republicans to vote for the bill.
One of the deciding votes was cast by Republican Delegate Wade Kach, previously an opponent of marriage equality. Kach said his mind was changed by hearing testimony from gay parents during the debate over the bill.
“I left that hearing a changed person,” Kach said. “I am casting a green vote for this bill and I’m hoping all of you that especially care about children will think of them and hopefully… all of our children are going to have the same rights so that they can prosper in this state.”