August 20, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
The Maryland State Board of Elections has released the language for the marriage equality initiative that will appear on November’s ballot. The title of the initiative is “Civil Marriage Protection Act”, and the initiative, Question 6, reads:
Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality responds:
“The wording is accurate and straightforward and will serve as another way to educate voters” said Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. “This referendum is about equality under the law and protecting religious freedom, and we know the more people know about this issue the more they support it. Voter education is what’s fueling our momentum.”
Maryland’s polls will be the first to close on November 6 out of the four states with ballot initiatives.