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Senate expected to approve gay marriage Thursday

Thursday - 2/23/2012, 1:04pm  ET

Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller says his chamber will vote on a bill to legalize gay marriage later Thursday.

Senators are expected to return to the chamber at 4 p.m. to wrap up what Miller expects will be an "orderly" debate and take a vote.

Last year, the Senate passed a similar proposal 25-21 and Miller said the vote is not expected to change.

The legislation, which is expected to pass, would make Maryland the eighth state to legalize same-sex unions, when Gov. Martin O'Malley signs the bill.

Last week the House of Delegates passed the bill by a thin margin, courting just one more vote than necessary to pass the measure.

Opponents have vowed to bring it to voters with a referendum on the November ballot.

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