Maryland gay marriage opponents launch ballot referendum petition drive


BALTIMORE, Md. — Opponents to the Maryland law signed by Governor Martin O’Malley last month that would give same-sex couples the right to marry, have officially begun their effort to overturn the law.

Officials from Maryland Marriage Alliance announced Wednesday they have launched the petition drive to collect nearly 56,000 signatures that will be needed to bring the law to referendum on this November’s ballot.

The Marriage Alliance, which is leading the referendum effort, is working with, the website developed last year by Neil Parrott, a Republican Maryland State Delegate, to collect signatures.

Voters are able to visit the website to request that a petition form be mailed to them. The website uses information from state voter rolls to ensure a signer’s printed name and address will match Maryland records, a standard used by the state Board of Elections to validate the signatures.

Same-sex marriage advocates have also launched their own petition to gather support for upholding the equality marriage law. People who sign it will be pledging their support for same-sex marriage according to organizers of petition, however, that petition will not carry any legal weight.

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