Is this state number six? Maryland’s Senate approved a bill on Thursday that would give gay couples the same marriage rights as straight couples, but would also allow exemptions for religious groups who don’t wish to participate. The bill now needs to pass Maryland’s House of Delegates, where it has 58 sponsors but needs 71 votes. The state’s governor, a Democrat, has said he will sign the bill into law if it crosses his desk, which would make Maryland the sixth state in the U.S. to extend full marriage rights to same-sex couples. The contentious issue has dominated Maryland’s legislature since its session began.
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