Lawmakers in Maryland have given their approval for a bill permitting same-sex marriage. The state Senate voted 25-22 to approve the bill, which had earlier gained approval from the lower House of Delegates, according to a government website. Maryland would become the eighth US state to allow gay marriage. Governor Martin O'Malley has said he will sign the legislation. It was not immediately clear when the bill would be sent to him for his approval. So far, seven US states -- Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington -- plus the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage, but the issue remains highly controversial, especially in this presidential election year. Last week, lawmakers in New Jersey approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, but Republican Governor Chris Christie vetoed it, saying the issue was so important "it should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide." Christie, a rising star in the Republican party, has advocated a popular referendum on the issue. Such a vote by New Jersey citizens, as opposed to their representatives in state government, he said, was "the only path to amend our state constitution and the best way to resolve the issue of same-sex marriage in our state." A group of 80 US mayors -- including New York's Michael Bloomberg, Chicago's Rahm Emanuel, Antonio Villaraigosa from Los Angeles and Annise Parker from Houston -- last month unveiled a campaign to win support for same sex marriage. Gay marriage was briefly authorized in California in 2008, but later banned by a referendum re-writing the state's constitution to restrict marriage to unions between a man and a woman. A US federal appeals court earlier this month declared the California ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Opponents are expected to appeal, and the legality of same-sex marriage will likely be decided by the US Supreme Court.Source: AFP << Scientists Identify Inflammatory Circuit Which Triggers Bre... Proficiency of Girls at Arithmetic Much More Than Boys >> Recommended Reading Gay Marriage Ban Heads for Legal Battle in California as Judge Overturns Ban A federal judge has overturned California's ban on same-sex marriage, the opening salvo in a high-stakes legal battle expected to take years to resolve. READ MORE Biased Policies Increase Risk of Psychiatric Disorders Among LGBTs Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals, who live in states that instituted bans on same-sex marriage are more at risk of developing psychiatric disorders, according to a new study. READ MORE Gays, Lesbians Increasingly Powerful in US, Court Told in Landmark Trial The influence of homosexuals in US politics is significant and growing, an expert testified, as opponents of same-sex marriage opened their case in a federal trial. READ MORE Divorce: Pros and Cons Divorce can be traumatic for children and create a sense of insecurity amongst them. Couples should realize that joined parenting is important even after divorce. READ MORE How to Save your marriage You can save your marriage - even when your partner insists on a divorce. READ MORE Is Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married? The stigma linked to staying single is gradually disappearing. More people opt to stay single and many even claim to be happier. But there are both advantages and disadvantages to staying single. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Accident and Trauma Care A-Z Drug Brands in India Selfie Addiction Calculator More News on: How to Save your marriageDivorce: Pros and ConsIs Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married?