After the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” gay rights advocates are about to get more good news, it seems. With the Democrats’ gain of two seats in the Maryland State Senate, proponents believe they have enough votes to pass a same-sex marriage bill in the next legislative session. Democratic governor Martin O’Malley has already announced that he would sign such a bill into law, causing Maryland to join Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., in allowing same-sex marriages. If the bill does become law, opponents could put it to the voters by collecting 55,000 signatures to get it on the ballot in 2012. The pro-gay group Equality Maryland welcomes the challenge and say they aim to be the first state to have its voters approve same-sex marriage by popular vote.