This November Maryland voters will have an opportunity to vote on the state's same sex marriage law.
Last week, 10 July, the northeastern state's Board of Election certified the petition requesting the law be put on the ballot.
'We're excited, we're on the ballot,' Dereck McCoy, executive director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, said to the Baltimore Sun. McCoy's organization leads the fight to have marriage rights repealed. 'We're glad that we were able to have a loud say.'
This past March the state's governor, Martin O'Malley, signed a bill making Maryland the eighth US state to approve same sex marriage. Before the the ink was dry, opponents were promising to force a referendum before the law went into effect (1 January, 2013). Approximately 56,000 signatures are required for a law to be put to a ballot vote. Maryland Marriage Alliance submitted 162,224 signatures, a state record for referendums.
Proponents for marriage rights are prepared for the upcoming battle. Marylanders for Marriage Equality released a web ad of African-American voters expressing support for the law. As reported by the Baltimore Sun, black voters represent a third of voters in the state, but 'traditionally have been uneasy with same-sex marriage.'
“Marylanders will be casting a vote on the law – not on their faith,' said Julian Bond, chairman emeritus of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in response to the video. ' Equality under the law means equality for all, not just some. If we’re all going to be equal in America, being able to marry the person we love and raise a family is an opportunity we all should have.'