New legislative sessions started this week, and quite a few states are considering laws related to official recognition of same-sex couples.
In Hawaii, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill to create civil unions (for both same- and opposite-sex couples) with the same rights as marriage, which is the same as a bill passed last year that was voted by the Republican governor. They have a Democratic governor now who says he supports the bill, so hopes are higher.
Iowa's House Judiciary Committee passed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex couples from marrying, as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships. The house is expected to pass the bill, but not the Democratically-controlled senate.
In Maryland, bills to legalize same-sex marriage were introduced in both the house and senate yesterday. The Baltimore Sun sums up the speechification on the bills with "using sweeping comparisons to the civil rights battles and generational shifts in attitude." That could be used to describe so much rhetoric in favor of same-sex marriage.