It’s happy day for gay marriage advocates. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, signed a marriage equality bill into law on Thursday. Getting the bill to his desk was quite a challenge despite the large Democratic majority in the state legislature. Factions of lawmakers with Catholic and evangelical ties were against legalizing gay marriage, and the bill barely squeaked by the House of Delegates with a vote of 71 to 67. Opponents are expected to challenge the new law through a referendum in November. They will need to collect 56,000 signatures to get it onto the ballot.