Marylanders Win Chance to Vote on Same-Sex Marriage

Pro-Marriage Supporters in Maryland have announced that they have submitted more than twice the number of signatures necessary to put the state’s new same-sex marriage law before voters for a vote in November.

According to the Baptist Press (BP), The Maryland Marriage Alliance, which includes the Maryland Catholic Conference and the National Organization for Marriage, have submitted 113,000 voter signatures requesting the right to vote on same sex marriage to state officials. The number far exceeds the required 55,736.

Derek McCoy, executive director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, told the BP that President Obama’s public support for gay marriage  gave added momentum to the signature drive.

“This incredible accomplishment has been possible because of our diverse partnership of allies that includes community organizations and faith-based groups from all ethnic, religious and geographic segments of the state,” McCoy said in a statement. “Support for the referendum was strong from the beginning and has only intensified once President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage.”

The group will continue the signature drive through the end of June in order to give the maximum number of voters the opportunity to have their voice heard.

“There are people that are just impassioned about this issue around the state,” McCoy said after a press conference announcing the success of the petition drive. “I think what you’re seeing is, people don’t want a radical redefinition of marriage just on a whim.”

Achieving the right to place the referendum on the November ballot was a real victory for the citizenry because it’s the first time a petition drive succeeded in reaching the ballot in that state in 20 years. Supporters of traditional marriage seemed to have tapped into public angst over the passage of such a controversial bill by legislative fiat rather than by popular vote. The bill, which barely passed on a Senate vote of 25-22, was signed into law by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), but will be put on hold until after this challenge is decided.

Similar effort are underway in the state of Washington where supporters of traditional marriage are said to be on track to acquiring enough signatures to bring that state’s new same-sex marriage law before voters in November.

Citizens in Minnesota will also be voting on whether or not to amend the state constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.

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