Maryland Senate approves bill on gay marriage
The Maryland Senate narrowly approved legislation Thursday that would legalize same-sex marriages after a day of emotional and often personal debate laced with references to religion and civil rights. The 25 to 21 vote sent the bill to the House of Delegates, traditionally the more liberal chamber on social issues. But supporters acknowledged Thursday that they still were a couple of votes shy of the majority needed for House passage. During Senate debate, supporters called the legislation a matter of fairness, arguing that same-sex couples should be entitled to the hundreds of rights conferred by the state on other married couples. "It provides full equality under the law for . . . couples like Mark and myself," said Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), who is openly gay, referring to his partner of more than a decade, with whom he has two young children.