Gay marriage bill signed
ANNAPOLIS, MD. - Maryland's governor has signed a bill legalizing gay marriage, joining seven other states and the District of Columbia.
Governor Martin O'Malley signed the bill today one week after its final passage by the Maryland Legislature.
The law is scheduled to take effect in January 2013.
However, opponents are expected to petition the law to a referendum on the November ballot.
Referendum organizers are expected to rely heavily on churchgoers who oppose same-sex marriage.
56,000 signatures are needed to put the issue before voters on the November ballot.
Some pastors in predominatly African American churches have begun using their sermons to push for the referendum.