Amidst celebratory setting, Maryland becomes eighth state to legalize gay marriage
Written by Wire Reports March 2, 2012
Onlookers pack the State House as Gov. Martin O'Malley signs the bill legalizing gay marriage in Maryland.
In one of the grandest stagings for any bill-signing in recent memory, hundreds of onlookers watched as Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into law on March 1 a bill making Maryland the eighth state to legalize gay marriage.
O'Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) sat at a table at the bottom of a marble staircase leading to the second floor of the State House and O'Malley's office in Annapolis.
Behind O'Malley was Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and First Lady Katie O'Malley, who also had advocated forcefully for the bill.
Gay-rights leaders and clergy members lined the ascending staircase.
Hundreds of onlookers, lawmakers and 15 television cameras crowded in the hallway.
Both houses of Maryland's General Assembly narrowly approved gay marriage last month, ending a year-long odyssey for the legislation that sidelined many other issues in state government while it occupied center stage.