Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after the Maryland Senate passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. The bill has already been approved by the state's House of Delegates, and now heads to the Governor Martin O'Malley's desk, where he is expected to sign the legislation into law:
"Today marks an extraordinary victory for the people of Maryland and a critical step forward in the march for marriage equality nationwide.
"By joining seven other states and the District of Columbia in extending the rights and responsibilities of marriage to LGBT citizens, Maryland has advanced the cause of freedom, civil rights, and justice for every American. When Governor O'Malley signs the bill, we will move closer to the day when all of America's families enjoy the benefits of equal protection under the law.
"As a native Marylander, this vote is a source of personal pride; as an American, this action is a symbol of our progress as a nation and as a people. I commend Governor O'Malley for his leadership on this issue and for his commitment to sign the legislation on behalf of the children of LGBT couples. Moving forward, we must build on the courageous vote in Maryland and continue to fight -- in the courts, in state legislatures, and in Congress -- until all LGBT Americans are guaranteed fair treatment in our country."