May 29, 2012 | by Michael K. Lavers
Md. marriage referendum supporters submit 113,000 signatures

Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery County) (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Same-sex marriage opponents claimed on Tuesday that they have collected enough signatures to place the issue before Maryland voters in November.

Derek McCoy, executive director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, said during a Tuesday afternoon press conference outside the Maryland Secretary of State’s office in Annapolis that his organization submitted 113,000 signatures. They have yet to be certified, but the group submitted more than double the 55,736 signatures necessary to place the referendum on the ballot.

The Maryland Marriage Alliance hopes to collect 150,000 signatures by the June 30 deadline.

The group did not immediately return the Blade’s request for comment, but a Public Policy Polling survey last week found that 57 percent of Marylanders would vote for the same-sex marriage law that Gov. Martin O’Malley signed in March. The same PPP poll found that 55 percent of the state’s black voters back marriage rights for same-sex couples.

The Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced its support of nuptials for gays and lesbians during their National Board of Director’s quarterly meeting in Miami on May 19.

“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,” said Josh Levin, campaign director for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. “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.”

Maryland Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery County) echoed Levin.

“We’ve always been planning to fight a referendum fight,” she told the Blade as she discussed the likely referendum. “We know when this comes to referendum we’re going to win. Public opinion is continuing to evolve rapidly and support is on our side.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

9 Comments
  • I know it looks like the [EXPLETIVE REMOVED] anti-gay forces will get the ballot measure on the ballot for this election, but I still hold out some hope it won’t get that far and they will fail to get the signatures they need. If they do get it on the ballot, I am encouraged by the poll results that we can keep mariage equality with a public vote.

  • Well the [EXPLETIVE REMOVED] anti-gay bigts appear to have the signatures to put our civil rights up for a public vote; now lets make sure these rotten [EXPLETIVE REMOVED] rue the day they did it by beating them on Election Day and retaining marriage equality in Maryland.

  • Skeeter Sanders

    Can someone please explain to me why no one has launched a pre-emptive legal strike against Bishop Harry Jackson and other religious opponents of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples by suing them under the federal RICO Act for conspiracy to deprive gay and lesbian Americans of their constitutuiona right to equal protection of the laws under the 14th Amendment?

    Can someone explain to me why they are not being sued for conspiring to violate the constitutioal separation of church and stateby imposing their homophobic religious doctrine into the laws of the state?

    WHY ARE THESE HOMOPHOBIC THEOCRATS BEING ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH THIS?

  • Seems to me that all of the hating that is going around is caused by gay people, who are the true haters in this debate.

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