March 5, 2012
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a bill into law Thursday that would legalize gay marriage in the state beginning in January 2013, but churches are already mobilizing to reverse it on the ballot, Baptist Press reports. The governor's signature technically made Maryland the eighth state to legalize gay marriage, but Maryland is one of two states almost certain to see the law challenged on the November ballot -- the other being Washington state. Under the umbrella name Maryland Marriage Alliance, multiple churches and conservative organizations will gather signatures with the goal of giving voters the chance to reverse the law through a referendum. About 56,000 valid signatures are required. Six states currently recognize gay marriage: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa and New York; 31 states have voted on gay marriage at the ballot and it has lost in every state.