BALTIMORE (AP) -- Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a former Maryland lieutenant governor and member of one of the nation's most well-known Catholic political families, has joined supporters of a Maryland law allowing same-sex marriage.
Townsend, the eldest child of Robert F. Kennedy, noted her uncle John F. Kennedy's emphasis on separation of church and state.
Maryland residents will vote in November on the referendum allowing gay marriage.
Opponents gathered more than enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot in November. The Maryland Catholic Conference, which advocates church policy before the Maryland General Assembly, opposes the law.
Maine, Minnesota and Washington state also have ballot measures on same-sex marriage this year.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)