Last month Governor Martin O’Malley signed the Civil Marriage Protection Act into law. Under his tireless leadership—and that of key legislators and the large coalition of gay and straight organizations—committed gay and lesbian couples will be able to marry on January 1, 2013—if all goes well this fall.
Right now opponents of marriage equality are collecting signatures to make sure the issue gets on the November ballot. Due to Maryland’s very low threshold for petitioning bills to the ballot, all sides believe that opponents will reach—and well exceed—the requisite 56,000 signatures needed to put marriage up for a vote. Translation: This will be on the ballot in the fall.
And we’re confident of victory. Any campaign would be thrilled to have the momentum we’ve built coming off the legislative win earlier this year. Folks are fired up, and polling is good. Hart Research shows that a majority of Maryland voters support upholding the state’s new marriage equality law in a referendum.
In addition, the likelihood that President Obama will run strongly in Maryland (he garnered 63 percent of the vote in 2008) bodes extremely well for passage of marriage equality. For example, nearly 70 percent of Obama voters and 30 percent of Romney voters support marriage equality.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the expanded coalition which came together to successfully pass marriage equality in Maryland, will be working hard over the coming weeks and months to encourage you to do three key things:
The most important thing we can do to defend Maryland’s marriage equality law is to have conversations with our friends, family, and neighbors about what marriage equality is really all about—two people, who love each other, building a stable family, and having that family recognized under the law, period. This is what moves people—no matter political affiliation, faith, or background. Not everyone “gets-it” the first time, so keep the dialogue going.
This campaign will cost millions and the most important donations are the $10, $20, $50 donations that people make online at MarylandersForMarriageEquality.org/DonateNow. Those small dollar contributions, added to the larger high-dollar contributions are what drive any winning campaign.
“Support” doesn’t win elections. Votes do. The campaign is working on gathering pledges from anyone and everyone who supports marriage equality on our website. Go online now at MarylandersForMarriageEquality.org to pledge to vote FOR the bill this November.
Together, we can turn our success of passing the marriage equality bill into a permanent victory this November. ■