Maryland will become the eighth state to allow same-sex marriage, and the first below the Mason-Dixon line. But gay couples in the Free State’s neighbor, the District, began marrying in March 2010.
Gay marriage first became legalized in Massachusetts in 2004 after a state Supreme Court ruling. Massachusetts was followed by Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, D.C. and New York between 2008 and 2011.
Maryland’s bill was approved Thursday after a year-long battle and Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) plans to sign it into law soon. Washington state’s legislature and governor aproved a bill to authorize gay marriage this month, and it will take effect in June unless opponents succeed in putting it to a referendum.
D.C.’s attempt to allow gays to marry, however, began in 1975. Check out D.C.’s same-sex marriage timeline below.
1975: Then-council member Arrington Dixon (D) proposes legalizing same-sex marriage in the District. The proposal was subsequently squashed by opposition from city religious leaders.
July 7: D.C. begins to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.
Dec. 18: Then-mayor Adrian Fenty (D) signs the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. The bill must make it through a 30-day congressional review period before it can become law. Opponents plan to take the bill to the courts and Congress to stop it.