Maryland gay rights group applauds NY vote
"It’s time that Maryland joins the ranks of states who favor marriage equality," said Patrick Wojahn, the Chair of Equality Maryland Foundation in a statement. He said that Maryland is "on the verge" of passing similar legislation here and his group "commits to the fight to bring full equality in the 2012 legislative session.”
New York's legislature passed the measure after an intense lobbying effort from Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo signed it into law immediatly.
But in other ways the debate over the New York bill, and the media coverage of it, echoed Maryland's efforts. There was intense speculation about whether the measure could get through New York's Republican controlled Senate with news organizations closely tracking lawmakers' public statements and doing independent vote counts.
And, as in Maryland, the NY measure was amended at the behest of conservatives who wanted to be sure the bill would provide legal protections to religious groups that might want to opt-out of same-sex celebrations.
The national group Freedom to Marry also put out a statement lauding a "surge in new support" and predicting that their "epic win" in New York would create momentum to pass similar bills in other states. The group had targeted three states this year: New York, Rhode Island and Maryland. New York was the only state where it passed.