[JURIST] The Maryland Senate [official website] approved legislation [text, PDF] Thursday to legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. The bill, entitled Civil Marriage Protection Act, would alter existing legislation that validates only heterosexual marriage. Approval of the Act will give gay couples the same full rights of marriage as straight, married couples, but will allow exemptions for religious leaders who object to same-sex marriage. Passed with a 25-21 Senate vote, the bill will now be turned over to the House…

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