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Same-sex marriage (SSM) activity in Maryland

2012-JUL to NOV: Poll. Republican support.
Article postings.
The vote on election day

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This is a continuation from a previous essay

In this section, "SSM" means "same-sex marriage;"
"
LGBT" means "lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered persons

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2012-JUL-26: New poll taken on support for / opposition to SSM:

Hart Research Associates conducted another poll of Maryland voters concerning their support for and opposition to the 2012-MAR law that legalized same-sex marriage.

The question asked of 504 likely voters was:

"As you may recall, the state legislature recently approved a law allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry in Maryland, and there is going to be a statewide referendum in the November election on whether to keep the law. If the election were held today, do you think you would vote FOR or vote AGAINST the recently approved law allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry?"

The new survey shows that:

  • 54% of Maryland voters will vote for the law by voting against the referendum which seeks to repeal the law.
  • 40% plan to vote against the law.
  • The margin of error is ±4.5 percentage points.

They also detected a growing intensity of support for and a lessening intensity of opposition to SSM:

  • In the 2012-MAR poll, 39% of voters strongly favored SSM, while 38% strongly opposed it.

  • In the 2012-JUL poll, 43% of voters strongly favored SSM, while 35% strongly opposed it.

They also conducted a survey of 515 African-American likely voters who changed at about 1 percentage point per month from:

  • 40% in favor of and 49% opposed to SSM in 2012-MAR.

to

  • 44% in favor of and 45% opposed to SSM in 2012-JUL's poll. This is a statistical dead heat. 1

See this section's menu for a summary of polls taken during 2011 and 2012.

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2012-SEP-10: Ken Mehlman (R) supports SSM:

Mehlman is a former Republican National Committee chairperson. He said that his support to defend Maryland's same-sex marriage law is personal. He told the Washington Blade:

"Having grown up in Baltimore and with family still living there and in Bethesda, I am pleased to support the effort to permit civil marriage in Maryland. This proposal enhances freedom and encourages fairness, while also safeguarding religious freedom. ... Republicans and conservatives should support this because it is consistent with our principles: more freedom, less government interference, family values like commitment and love, all while safeguarding religious freedom. If you want to stand up for freedom and family values, then you should support allowing adults the freedom to marry the person they love." 2

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2012-OCT-23/24: Two contrasting postings to a Washington Post article:

The Washington Post published an article about two weeks before election day. They reported the results of a public opinion poll conducted on OCT-13 which predicted 52% support and 43% opposition to Question 6, for a margin of 9 percentage points. 1,106 persons were interviewed. The margin of error was ±2.95 percentage points.

There were 1,295 comments posted by readers of the article. The three last ones were:

On 2012-OCT-19, Pilot 1 wrote:

"Go ahead and vote for it, while your at expand gambling and of course rights for illegal aliens; heck why not prostitution also? Then why not some hate speech laws and the creation of the thought police. Of course a new tax that anyone who has values, morals and works must pay 50% to those who don't because after all it is a fundamental civil right to do whatever you want and not be responsible for it."

On 2012-OCT-23, Jean Pierre Katz wrote:

"As a child of holocaust survivors I have strong emotional ties to traditional Judaism which is against homosexual sex.

I respect Orthodox Judaism.

But from personal experience I know that all people need choices beyond the demands of their religion.

Civil Law allows for drinking alcohol, contraception, gambling and divorce. All of these are prohibited by one religion or another.

People who are gay need to be able to choose to love whoever they love. They should be free to have families like everyone else.

Their partners, daughters and sons should have all the civil protections, obligations, and benefits as anyone else."

On 2012-OCT-24, Judge 1 wrote:

"For those who wish to preserve the institution of marriage as strictly a union between one man and one woman, you have a great chance today to do more than talk about it.

So far, traditional marriage has won in all 32 state referendums defining marriage. In addition, 3 Iowa Supreme Court judges were removed from the bench for imposing gay marriage on Iowa.

On November 6, four states have votes on the definition of marriage. The National Organization for Marriage is the lead national organization supporting marriage. They have a matching grant of $2 million dollars to support the fight for marriage by buying advertising in those states.

Each contribution will be tripled, i.e. a donation of $10 will result in a contribution of $30.00 to support marriage. ..."

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2012-NOV-06: Election Day:

Ballotpedia reported a poll by Opinion Works for the Baltimore Sun on 2012-SEP-26 showing 46% in favor of marriage equality; 47% against, and 7% undecided among likely voters. Margin of error is ±3.5%. Considering the halo effect, and the expected fear-based TV ads, we felt that it was very probable that the law legalizing SSM will be repealed and marriage inequality would be preserved in the state.

Results were a surprise to many:

  • With 54% of the precincts reporting, Question 6 was very narrowly leading with 51% in favor and 49% against. 3

  • With 93% reporting, Question 6 was leading 51.7% to 48.3%. 4

  • With 99% reporting, Question 6 was leading 52.1% to 47.8%. 5

  • With all precincts reporting, Question 6 had passed 51.9% to 48.1%, for a margin of 3.8 percentage points. 6

The vote on the Civil Marriage Protection Act will be formally certified by the Secretary of State about the end of November. Marriage will become available to all loving committed couples, whether of the same gender or opposite gender. 4

Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) -- the leading national marriage equality group -- emailed:

"Today the marriage equality map expands to Maryland, giving thousands more loving couples the opportunity to make lifelong commitments through marriage. This is a milestone night for the simple truth that when Americans are presented with the real lives of their friends and neighbors, they have no choice but to vote for their equality. It is the momentum reflected in poll after poll that shows a growing majority for marriage equality across the country." 7

Governor Martin O'Malley issued a statement on NOV-06:

"Over these past few weeks, Marylanders joined together to affirm that for a free and diverse people of many faiths – a people committed to religious freedom – the way forward is always found through greater respect for the equal rights and human dignity of all.

A lot of people worked very hard to make this day possible, including the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP, SEIU, 8 clergy and community leaders.

"To Maryland’s children -– please know that you and your families matter to the people of our State.  Whether your parents happen to be gay or straight, Democratic, Republican or Independent, your families are equal before the eyes of the law.

"We have tremendous challenges as a nation, and it is my sincere hope that we can come together to meet those challenges with greater respect for the dignity of every individual.

"We are One Maryland, and all of us, at the end of the day, want the same thing for our children: to live in a loving, stable, committed home protected equally under the law.

"As we have done so often in our State’s history, Marylanders chose to come together to affirm this profound truth that has served as both the cornerstone — and the beacon of hope — of our nation.

"By this vote, the people of our State affirmed that we are One Maryland and that we’re all in this together." 9

He told WBAL radio:

"We're all entitled to our own religious opinions and own religious freedoms, but in terms of our civil laws, they should protect every child equally, and I think that's what the people of Maryland concluded tonight." 10

It should be noted that only a slim majority of the people of Maryland believe that every child should be protected equally. A very large minority believe that same-sex parents and their children should not have benefits and rights equal to opposite-sex parents and their children.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said:

"This is the civil rights issue of our time." 10

According to About.com, there is a 48 hour waiting period before a couple with a license can marry. There is no residency requirement. You must be married in the same county where you purchased your license. 11 We recommend that you double-check this information in advance; rules sometimes change.

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When will same-sex couples actually be able to obtain license; when can they marry?

As explained on this section's menu, it was originally believed that same-sex couples who wanted to marry as soon as possible would have to wait until 2012-JAN-01 when the law took effect, then wait an extra day because of the legal holiday, obtain their marriage licenses on JAN-02, and then wait until at least the morning of JAN-04 until the license became effective.

However the Attorney General has issued a report saying that clerks' offices have the option of selling licenses to same-sex couples as soon as 2012-DEC-06 and get married as soon as the morning of New Years Day, 2013-JAN-01.

The Washington Blade reported that:

"Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said on Thursday [2012-NOV-29 that] same-sex couples can begin to marry in the state on Jan. 1.

He wrote in a 19-page opinion that clerks can begin to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians as soon as Dec. 6, as long as they don’t take effect until the same-sex marriage law takes effect at the start of the new year. A 1999 law states a marriage license is not valid until 6 a.m. on the second calendar day after a clerk issues it.

Gansler concluded this requirement does not 'expressly prohibit licenses becoming effective after that time.'

'Although there is a legal reason why same-sex couples cannot be licensed to marry before midnight on Jan. 1, 2013…, there is no such legal reason why they should not be licensed to marry at any time after the moment the law takes effect,' he wrote." 12

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Amanda Terkel, "Maryland Marriage Equality Poll Shows Increased Support From African-American Voters," Huffington Post, 2012-AUG-02, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  2. Michae K. Lavers, "Mehlman: Md. same-sex marriage law 'enhances freedom'," Washington Blade, 2012-SEP-11, at: https://www.washingtonblade.com/
  3. "Election results live stream and coverage," The Diamondback University of Maryland student newspaper, 2012-NOV-06, at: http://www.diamondbackonline.com/
  4. Andy Towle, "Marriage equality wins in Maryland," Towleroad, 2012-NOV-07, at: http://www.towleroad.com/
  5. "Maryland Approves Gay Marriage In Historic 'Question 6' Vote," Huffington Post, 2012-NOV-07, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  6. "Unofficial 2012 Presidential General Election results for All State Questions ," Maryland State Board of Elections, as on 2012-NOV-09, at: http://elections.state.md.us/
  7. "Maryland Approves Gay Marriage In Historic 'Question 6' Vote," Huffington Post, 2012-NOV-07, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  8. "NAACP" is an acronym for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "SEIU" probably stands for Service Employees International Union.
  9. Martin O'Malley, "Statement from Governor Martin O’Malley on the Civil Marriage Protection Act," Maryland.gov, 2012-NOV-06, at: http://www.governor.maryland.gov/
  10. "Question 6, Same Sex Marriage Passes," WBAL Radio, 2012-NOV-07, at: http://www.wbal.com/
  11. Sherry & Bob Stritof," About.com Marriage, at: http://marriage.about.com/
  12. Michael K. Lavers, "Gansler: Gay couples can marry in Md. on Jan. 1." Washington Blade, 2012-NOV-29, at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/
  13. Jean Marbella, "First marriage licenses issued to Maryland same-sex couples," Baltimore Sun, 2012-DEC-06, at: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/

Site navigation: Home > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > Menu > MD > here

Copyright © 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2012-JUL
Latest update: 2012-DEC-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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