(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) — Maryland is on the verge of becoming the latest state to legalize same-sex marriage.
On Thursday, the Maryland state Senate voted 25 to 22 to allow gay and lesbian nuptials, coming on the heels of the House of Delegates passing a similar measure by a 72 to 67 vote.
It’s guaranteed to become law since Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley has promised to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.
However, just as in Washington state, which recently passed same-sex marriage legislation, homosexuals may have to wait until November to go to the altar if opponents of their legal unions collect enough signatures that would give voters the right to decide the issue. The opposition needs close to 56,000 signatures delivered to Maryland election officials by June 30.
Regardless, once Malley signs the legislation, Maryland technically become the eighth state, along with the District of Columbia, to permit people of the same sex to wed.
Last week, New Jersey lawmakers gave their blessing to homosexuals marrying, only to see Republican Gov. Chris Christie veto the bill.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Doug Criss, CNN
John Clyde, KSL.com
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN