By I-Hsien Sherwood | i.sherwood@latinospost.com (staff@latinospost.com) | First Posted: Jan 01, 2013 07:23 PM EST

Flora Reece of Orlando holds a sign in protest as spectators, law enforcement officers and members of the media gather outside of the Orange County Courthouse prior to the start of sentencing proceedings for Casey Anthony in Orlando, Florida July 7, 2011. (Photo : Reuters)

With a new year come new laws around the country.

Lawmakers seem to love to push off the consequences of their votes into the future, and next year always seems so far away. Maybe that's why so many laws go into effect on Jan. 1 every year.

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In November, voters in Maryland approved same-sex marriage, which became legal in that state at midnight on New Year's Day.

Happy couples lined up to take their vows just after midnight. Maryland becomes the southernmost part of the United States to allow same-sex marriage.

The November ballot was the first time voters have approved same-sex marriage in the U.S. Previously, legislatures have passed laws allowing it or courts have issued rulings making it legal. Voters in Maine and Washington State also passed same-sex marriage initiatives on Election Day in 2012, legalizing such relationships in December of 2012.

In Pennsylvania, school officials and teachers must now report suspected child abuse to authorities, after the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky child molestation cases at Penn State.

In both California and Illinois, parents must notify authorities of missing children within 24 hours. The legislations, called "Caylee's Laws," were prompted by Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of her daughter Caylee's murder even though she waited a month before reporting her missing.

Also in Illinois, employers can no longer demand the Facebook or social media passwords of employees.

In addition:

New Hampshire bans "partial birth abortions."

Montana now requires parental notification for minors seeking an abortion.

Montana also prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving social services.

Maryland is banning arsenic in chicken feed.

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