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Maryland gay marriage bill dies with no final vote

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03/12/2011 04:00 PM
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Maryland gay marriage bill dies with no final vote
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The speaker of Maryland's House vowed that Democrats would try again next year to pass legislation legalizing gay marriage, but the intense lobbying by faith groups against the measure in recent weeks shows that it won't be easy, even in a state known for its liberal politics.

A loose coalition of Democratic legislators failed to cobble together enough votes to overcome opposition from Republicans and religious groups, including the Catholic church and many black congregations, to make Maryland the sixth state to legalize gay marriage.

Lawmakers had planned to vote on the bill in the House, but it was withdrawn instead Friday and effectively killed for the year.

Opposition from some religious groups grew after the Senate narrowly passed its version of the measure Feb. 24. Then some black Democratic lawmakers withdrew their support, while freshman legislators had trouble determining what constituents wanted.