The signatures have been counted: anti-marriage equality activists in Maryland have officially gathered enough signatures to put marriage equality to a vote in November.
Maryland passed a law for marriage equality earlier this year, but opponents immediately organized. They needed to gather more than 55,000 signatures to put a possible repeal on the ballot, and more than 70,000 valid signatures have been counted. But that doesn’t mean marriage equality advocates aren’t gearing up for a fight:
Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the coalition leading the campaign, announced today a long list of moves it has made to stop the repeal. It includes opening two campaign offices, hiring 12 field staffers, expanding its social media presence, and commissioning a poll that found Maryland voters overwhelmingly on the side of equality. Public Policy Polling found that 57% of voters would uphold the law and that African-Americans had made a huge swing after President Obama announced his support for marriage equality.
The “faith team” has already recruited a stable of religious leaders who are on its side to counter voices on the right who claim a monopoly on biblical views. It’s a similar tactic to one being employed in Minnesota, where dozens of faith leaders are speaking out for marriage equality as just another example of the “love and commitment” that all marriages represent. That message has resulted in a 10-point swing in four months, according to a PPP poll, with independents driving fresh support for same-sex marriage. Now 49% of voters are against amending the Minnesota constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Okay, Maryland readers. Looking at you on this one. We can’t let this go. We can win this.