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Gov. Martin O’Malley, joined by House Speaker Michael Busch (D-Dist. 30) of Annapolis and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Dist. 27) of Chesapeake Beach, signed the Civil Marriage Protection Act into law Thursday evening.

“All of us, at the end of the day, want the same thing for our children,” O’Malley (D) said before putting pen to paper. “We want them to live in a loving, caring, and committed home that is protected equally under the law.”

Opponents of the bill, led by Del. Neil C. Parrott (R-Dist. 2B) of Hagerstown, have pledged to put the new law before voters this November, and are preparing a petition drive to get the measure on the ballot.

dleaderman@gazette.net