The measure, which would have allowed lesbians and gay men to marry, was defeated in the Maryland House of Delegates, where the measure was tossed back to a committee effectively ending any chance of passage in the current session.
Gov. Martin O'Malley (pictured) said he would have signed the bill into law. Following the bill's demise, O'Malley said it was his "firm belief that equality under the law means equality for everyone, and our laws should reflect that fundamental principle."
As The Washington Post reported, the measure ran into difficulty after religious right groups loudly fought the equality measure. The Rev. Nathaniel Thomas claimed, "We're not talking about anyone not having rights. But when you use the word ‘marriage,' that goes directly to what the church believes is a relationship between a male and a female.'"
Five states, Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, and the District of Columbia, recognize marriage quality rights, allowing gay men and lesbians to wed.
[image via chesbayprogram]