The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced Tuesday that gay couples can now marry in the state’s new gay marriage ceremony, allowing them to get married in front of the state legislature.
It was a surprise announcement, said Gov.
Larry Hogan (D), who said the state had “been very, very quiet” on the issue of same-sex marriage since the Supreme Court ruled in June that gay marriage is a constitutional right.
But he said he was happy to see the ceremony become legal and to “make it official.”
Maryland’s marriage ceremony will be held on Monday at 8 p.m. at the Maryland State House, located at 1050 State Street in Annapolis.
It will be the first of its kind in the nation.
The ceremony will take place before Maryland’s annual gay pride parade, which will take over the Maryland Capital Mall in downtown Annapolis on Aug. 15.
The parade begins at 7 p.k. in front the state Capitol and runs through the streets of Annapolis, culminating at the parade’s grandstand at the Statehouse.
The event’s organizers, the Maryland Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, are also partnering with the Maryland chapter of the National Organization for Marriage to host a reception for the ceremony.
Maryland already has allowed same-day marriage for same-gender couples in recent years.
But the state Legislature passed a law last year making it easier for same sex couples to get their licenses before the 2018 presidential election.
It also made same-date marriage legal for all married couples.
The bill passed by the Maryland House but not the Senate before it was signed into law by Gov.
Hogan (R) in April.
It is currently awaiting the governor’s signature before becoming law.