A Maryland House committee has moved forward a bill to legalize gay marriage in the state.

The panel voted 12 to 10 to approve the bill Friday.

The bill, which already has been passed by the state Senate, now goes to the full House of Delegates.

Same-sex couples in Maryland would have the same full marriage rights as heterosexuals under the bill. It includes protections for religious groups and institutions to keep them from being forced to participate in gay weddings.