Maryland gay marriage foes have signatures for referendum

Tue May 29, 2012 7:42pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Opponents of same-sex marriage in Maryland announced on Tuesday they have submitted more than twice the number of signatures needed to put the state's new law allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry before voters in a referendum.

The Maryland Marriage Alliance, a coalition of groups working to preserve the traditional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, said it has collected more than 113,000 voter signatures.

That figure far exceeded the 56,000 signatures needed to bring the law to a referendum. A third of those had to be submitted by Thursday.

"There are people that are just impassioned about this issue around the state," said the organization's executive director, Derek McCoy, speaking after a press conference announcing the success of the petition drive. "I think what you're seeing is, people don't want a radical redefinition of marriage just on a whim."

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.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality campaign manager Josh Levin said in a statement that the opponents' announcement comes as no surprise, but added that "it's clear those opposed to marriage equality are losing ground."

A poll conducted recently by the organization found 57 percent of Maryland residents would vote to uphold the law legalizing same-sex unions, and 37 percent would vote against it if the election were held today.

In March, Maryland became the eighth U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage, joining the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York. when Governor Martin O'Malley signed the measure into law.

In Washington state, where Governor Christine Gregoire signed a law legalizing same-sex marriage in February, opponents are trying to bring the issue to a voter referendum in November. In New Jersey, similar legislation passed both houses before it was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie.

(Editing by Paul Thomasch. Desking by Christopher Wilson)

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Comments (7)
nik-florida wrote:
Why are people VOTING on basic rights?

May 29, 2012 9:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Skruples wrote:
@frapper

Hey, it’s “justify horrible things in the name of God”! My favorite Bible game. Can I play?

Genocide:

Joshua 6:2;20-21:
And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour… So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

Slavery:

Colossians 3:22-24
Slaves, you must always obey your earthly masters. Try to please them at all times, and not just when you think they are watching. Honor the Lord and serve your masters with your whole heart. Do your work willingly, as though you were serving the Lord himself, and not just your earthly master. In fact, the Lord Christ is the one you are really serving, and you know that he will reward you.

Ephesians 6:5-7
Slaves, you must obey your earthly masters. Show them great respect and be as loyal to them as you are to Christ. Try to please them at all times, and not just when you think they are watching. You are slaves of Christ, so with your whole heart you must do what God wants you to do. Gladly serve your masters, as though they were the Lord himself, and not simply people.

Exodus 21:32
If the bull [that you own] kills a slave, you must pay the slave owner thirty pieces of silver for the loss of the slave, and the bull must be killed by stoning.

Killing adulterers:

Leviticus 20:10
If any of you men have sex with another man’s wife, both you and the woman will be put to death.

Banishment for sex during a woman’s period:

Leviticus 20:18
If you have sex with a woman during her monthly period, both you and the woman will be cut off from the people of Israel.

Killing homosexual people:

Leviticus 20:13
It’s disgusting for men to have sex with one another, and those who do will be put to death, just as they deserve.

Killing women for not being a virgin when they get married:

Deuteronomy 22:20-21
But if the man was right and there is no proof that his bride was a virgin, the men of the town will take the woman to the door of her father’s house and stone her to death.

That’s just the beginning. Sure, God mellows out in the New Testament, but even then he’s all for slavery. I’m pretty sure there’s a passage in the bible to justify killing just about anyone in modern society. So you may want to come up with a better justification for your opposition to gays.

May 29, 2012 9:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MargaretW wrote:
Isn’t it lucky basic rights didn’t get tossed to the mob when interracial marriage and the Civil Rights Act were under consideration? They never would have passed if they were left to the will of “the people”.

May 30, 2012 5:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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