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Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a gay-marriage bill into law on Thursday, according to the Huffington Post. The legislation, which narrowly passed the Legislature last month, is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

"For a free and diverse people, for a people of many faiths, for a people committed to the principle of religious freedom, the way forward is always found for the greater respect of the equal rights of all, for the human dignity of all," the Democratic governor said before signing the law.

The state of Washington recently passed a law allowing gay marriage, as did New Jersey's Legislature, before Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the bill.

But opponents in Maryland are already working on getting a referendum on the November ballot to overturn the bill. Maryland Marriage Alliance, a coalition of religious groups, is leading the campaign to overturn the law by gathering petitions. The organization appeared at a black church last weekend to rally the congregation against the law.

"We will have the last say on how marriage will be defined in Maryland," spokeswoman Dee Powell said repeatedly to the audience.

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Some churchgoers said that they are bound by their faith to vote against gay marriage. "It's a personal value and opinion. It has nothing to do with President Barack Obama," DeBorah Martinez told the Associated Press. Many African-American church leaders in the state — which is nearly a third black — also oppose the law.

The bill may have been signed, but the question of same-sex marriage in Maryland is hardly settled.

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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