Marriage Equality represented by Question 6 is one of the hot ballot issues this year. A lot of organizing energy has been spent on this ballot question which will ask you to vote “for” if you want to protect the Civil Marriage Protection Act which was signed by the Governor in March, earlier this year. A vote “against” will deny fairness and equality to gay and lesbian couples and their families.
Two major marriage organizations are at work in Maryland. The Maryland Marriage Alliance (MMA) is organizing voters who wish to keep the marriage law the same as it was before the law was passed by the majority in both houses of the Maryland General Assembly. The other group, Marylanders for Marriage Equality (MFME) is supporting a “for” vote which promotes fairness and equality for all Maryland families.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality has been on the ground talking to people face to face, collecting pledge of support signatures since March when the bill was signed. The Alliance then worked to collect signatures of those who wish to bring this civil rights issue to a vote. Delegate Neal Parrot’s group was successful getting the marriage question on the ballot. Marylanders for Marriage Equality points out that support for Question 6 is and has been growing. This is growth is documented by polling data. Opponents, however, point out that of all the 30 states bringing this question to a vote, none supporting marriage equality have ever been successful.
Growth of support for Marriage Equality has been growing in recent months. There was an uptick in support just after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. And there was another uptick just after President Obama came out in support for marriage equality in May of this year. Maryland is very likely to be the first state to pass such a bill by referendum vote. Three other states, Washington, Maine and Minnesota will also have marriage measures on the November 6th ballot.
This vote may very well come down to who has the economic muscle in Baltimore-Washington Metro Area media blitz in the coming weeks. Both organizations are gearing for this new phase of the campaign. It appears that the Maryland Marriage Alliance is nervous. With a large media buy last week their intention to get their message out to voters is clear. Marylanders for Marriage Equality encouraged their supporters, this week, to get ready for the onslaught of negative messages. It seems that National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has used the same methods in all of their previous campaigns. MFME expects the same routine methods from the opposition.
With just about seven weeks until Election Day. Unregistered voters are reminded that they must register and have their application to the Maryland State Board of Elections by Tuesday, October 30, 2012. Your request must be received by 8:00 pm if you mail or deliver the application or 11:59 pm if you fax or email it. In order to beat the last minute rush, do it today: https://voterservices.elections.state.md.us/OnlineVoterRegistration
If you will not be available to vote in person your vote still matters. You may vote early or by absentee ballot. Get your Absentee Ballot here, now: http://www.elections.state.md.us/voting/absentee.html