Marriage Escalates Up a Notch
As expected, Maryland marriage opponents are rallying to hold a referendum to overthrow the marriage equality law signed this year by governor O'Malley. The Post is reporting that they have more than enough signatures to get the issue on the ballot.
A referendum on Maryland lawmakers’ decision to legalize same-sex marriage moved from the realm of the likely to a near certainty on Tuesday as opponents turned in what they said were over 113,000 signatures — more than twice the number needed to qualify the law for the November ballot.It's too bad to put people's rights up to a vote, kind of crazy to require a majority of the state's residence to approve your relationship before you can marry. But if you're going to have a referendum, you couldn't pick a better time, when, as HuffPo says, "Maryland Gay Marriage Poll Shows Marked Shift In Public Opinion."
A coalition of religious leaders and conservatives organized to oppose gay marriage said weeks ago that they would easily beat Maryland's first deadline on Thursday to file more than 18,000 signatures.
But with two days to go, opponents said that President Obama’s recent announcement that he supports same-sex marriage appeared to have had the effect of not only invigorating supporters but also those opposed.
The Maryland Marriage Alliance, the group leading the charge to overturn the state’s same-sex marriage law, said that since Obama’s pronouncement — and since leaders of the NAACP followed suit — opponents in Maryland have seen a surge in the number of residents seeking to put gay marriage to a statewide vote.
“When President Obama and the NAACP come out and they wanted to support this issue, well, great, we appreciate that because you help energize our [side],” said Derek McCoy, the group’s executive director.
The alliance on Tuesday filed more than twice the 55,736 signatures needed to qualify the measure for the ballot, and McCoy said the group was on pace to turn in well in excess of its goal of 150,000 signatures by the end of June.
“People that were on the fence are no longer on the fence; they are engaged. ... Countless thousands of Marylanders around this state want to see marriage go on the ballot. But they also want to see it defined and upheld between one man and one woman,” he said.
Signature count makes a Maryland vote on same-sex marriage a near certainty
In a dramatic shift, Maryland voters overwhelmingly would vote to uphold a law allowing same-sex marriage, according to a survey released Thursday by Public Policy Polling.You can bet on this being an ugly fight. You're going to hear some terrible things said, old prejudices will come to the foreground, hatred will boil over and ugly stereotypes will be invoked as the election approaches. So far the record is not good, many states have voted to retain government regulations defining who citizens can marry. But right now Maryland is looking optimistic, if the LGBT community can get out the vote they should be able to win this.
Fifty-seven percent of likely voters would vote to uphold the law allowing same-sex marriage, while 37 percent would not, representing a 12-point shift from an identical survey in early March. Fifty-two percent think gay marriage should be recognized, while 39 percent do not. Both polls were commissioned for Marylanders for Marriage Equality.