Md. Voters to Decide on Legalizing Gay Marriage - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. Voters to Decide on Legalizing Gay Marriage

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- Maryland residents will decide whether to legalize same-sex marriage, a decision that could have far-reaching implications.

Gov. Martin O'Malley had signed gay marriage into law in March, but opponents collected enough signatures to force a ballot referendum in Tuesday's election.

The vote carries weighty consequences, especially because gay marriage has never succeeded at the ballot box. Thirty-two states have held votes on same-sex marriage since 1998, and all 32 have opposed it.

Maryland is 1 of 4 states with referendums on the issue Tuesday. The others are Maine, Washington and Minnesota.

O'Malley, who strongly supported the law, has said it protects the religious beliefs of clergymen who oppose same-sex marriage. But it's proved a tough sell among some black clergy and their congregations.

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