Why was the Maryland Toleration Act so significant?

The Maryland Toleration Act which was passed in 1649 was one of the first laws passed that prohibited religious persecution in the British colonies in North America. European history is riddled with religious intolerance and this new law abolished "hate speech" for nonsecular religious practitioners. In fact, it can even be argued that these first few laws including the Maryland Toleration Act helped the legal protection of freedom of religion as well as the separation of church and state in which The United States continues to practice.
Please keep in mind that this is a broad overview and there are a multitude of fascinating details and connections that would make this answer much stronger for academic purposes.
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