January 1, 1973

Maryland becomes the first state in the nation to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, expressly banning same-sex marriage.

In February 2012, after much debate, a law permitting same-sex marriage was passed by the General Assembly and signed on March 1, 2012. The law took effect on January 1, 2013 after 52.4% of voters approved a statewide referendum held on November 6, 2012. The vote was hailed as a watershed moment by gay rights activists and marked the first time marriage rights in the U.S. have been extended to same-sex couples by popular vote.