Same-sex marriage, congressional map to appear on ballot

July 11, 2012

ANNAPOLIS — Opponents of Maryland’s congressional redistricting map and the state’s same-sex marriage law have acquired enough signatures to put the issues on the November ballot.

Donna Duncan, the Maryland State Board of Elections election management director, said 56,323 signatures opposing the congressional map had been validated Wednesday afternoon. Opponents needed 55,736 signatures to put the map on the ballot.
Duncan says there were still about 2,900 signatures to be verified.

Critics say the map approved by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly has been gerrymandered to favor Democrats at the expense of fair representation, while Democratic supporters say the changes reflect demographic shifts in the state’s population.

The elections board also certified a petition submitted by the Maryland Marriage Alliance, which opposes the same-sex marriage law, after the group submitted more than 162,000 signatures to repeal it, The (Baltimore) Sun reported Tuesday. The elections board stopped verifying after confirming more than 109,000 signatures.

Opponents also needed 55,736 signatures to put the issue on the ballot. 

Duncan told The Sun that officials determined “the petitions satisfied the legal requirements.”

Advocates and opponents now will have to create ballot committees, and track donations and expenses.

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond issued a statement Tuesday supporting the rights of same-sex couples to marry and said Marylanders will be “casting a vote on the law — not on their faith.”

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