Same-sex marriage is now possible in the US state of Maryland.
November's election day proved historic for the gay rights movement, marking the first time that same-sex marriage was approved by local referendum. Previous states to support these measures did not do so by popular vote, but rather had these laws passed by courts or state legislators.
These states include Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Iowa, Vermont, New York and Connecticut.
Until 2012, all previous state votes on the issue of marriage equality for the gay community had rejected amending civil union laws.
The particular referendum approved in the state of Maryland allowing gay couples to obtain a civil union license at the same time protects clergy from having to perform any marriage ceremony if it goes against their religious beliefs.
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