When marriage equality was legalized in New York, it took millions of dollars and support from an eager governor to pass the legislation. It seems that Maryland is taking this same road. The governor Martin O’Malley, a supporter of LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, has said he needs upwards of two million dollars to pass a referendum to make sure the marriage equality law sticks this election year. In November, voters in the state will head to the polls to decide its fate. It could become the first state in the nation to uphold the law during an election. Washington is also vying for this honor.
This week he addressed the issue, asking that Marylanders join the fight for marriage equality and to help pass Question 6. He’s ready for a fight thanks to support for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. The group estimates that 54 percent of Maryland voters say they will vote for Question 6. A prominent African-American clergy that’s 8,000 strong also supports the measure. And Bob Ross, the president of an NAACP chapter, has also appeared in an ad supporting same-sex marriage.
“We expect that the opponents will try to exploit divisions and try to pit African-American voters against gay and lesbian people in our state,” says O’Malley. “We expect that they will try to convince voters that somehow by passage of this law that every child in Maryland will somehow be taught that they need to be gay, and we know that their third strategy will be to try to convince voters that they’re being duped by the ballot language.”
He adds: “It is in keeping with the character of our state to protect rights equally under the law while also protecting religious liberty. But we do need to raise money here. We do need to raise another couple of million dollars, and if we are able to do that, I believe that we will pass this, and raising those dollars is critically important for our ability to be able to defend this at the ballot.”
Maryland is among four states in the nation that are voting on gay marriage in November.