MD Marriage Foes Already Deliver Enough Signatures To Get Referendum

Anti-marriage-equality forces in Maryland had until Thursday to produce some 18,000 voter signatures—a third of the total 56,000 required to get the state’s new same-sex-marriage law put before a public referendum. On Tuesday, the Maryland Marriage Alliance (MMA) announced it already had more than 113,000 signatures.

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

Reuters reports that MMA broke out the big guns to get names on their tallies:

McCoy said more than 4,000 people trained to collect signatures campaigned in churches and other venues, and held gatherings in their homes within the last couple of months.

He said support for the referendum grew after President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, as Maryland voters unhappy with this announcement “came off the fence” and decided to sign the petition.

Kevin Nix of Marylanders for Marriage Equality took the news in stride, indicating it’s clear foes of gay marriage are losing ground:

“Given the low bar for petitioning a law to the ballot in Maryland, we’ve always expected same-sex marriage opponents to meet that threshold and then some—up to their stated target of 150,000.

But don’t confuse meeting the legal requirement with intensity or measure of support. It’s clear those opposed to marriage equality are losing ground. Our PPP poll last week showed 57% would vote to uphold the law—with 37% voting against—if the election were held today. A surge in support among African American voters (to 55%) in the wake of endorsements by President Obama and the NAACP are key factors in that change. As we open two new campaign offices and build out a robust field operation to offer information, register, and mobilize voters this summer and fall, we will be looking to maintain this record-level of support for marriage equality in Maryland.”

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  • Bob

    I am very happy that so many black people have changed their minds on this issue and I thank them. But why did it take the president and the NAACP to make this happen? Can’t people think for themselves? Why do so many people have to be lead like sheep on this issue?

  • Dave

    The answer to that question is clearly no many people do not want to think for
    themselves. Sadly

  • Cam

    The last poll I saw put black support for the law in MD. at 59%.

    If these numbers stay true and the vote upholds the law, it will take a HUGE talking point away from the bigots that the news shows keep having on.

    They continually say “Every single one of these pro-marriage laws has failed when it was put to a vote.” Would be fun to watch them try to come up with something else to keep screaming over and over every time they are asked a question.

  • Rhoda Smith

    Gay marriage will not pass in Maryland. These polls are interesting, but I don’t believe them. In the end, there are way too many rural areas in MD where opposition to gay marriage will top 70 or 80%, along with the fact that many blacks oppose it (even if their opinions have shifted, it won’t be enough to matter.)

    I expect the law to receive around 40-45% support at the polls. I guess we will see in november.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Prop H8 set a legal precedence, so even if the haters manage to get their referendum to the people and even if the haters vote to take away our inalienable rights, the law suit that ensues will fall in our favor and, yet, another legal precedence will lend support to our eventual inclusion in American life. Inequality will not be tolerated in the United States of America.

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