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Maryland Board of Elections Releases Ballot Language for Marriage Equality Referendum

The Maryland Board of Elections has released the official language that will appear on the ballot referendum over Maryland's marriage equality law:

MdThe title of the marriage referendum is the “Civil Marriage Protection Act,” the same name as the legislation which passed with bipartisan support in the Legislature and signed by Governor O’Malley earlier this year. It will appear as Question 6 on the ballot and reads as follows:

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.

Said Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality: “The wording is accurate and straightforward and will serve as another way to educate voters. 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.”

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  1. As usual, about 2/3 of that language is about protecting religious organizations, even though they are ALREADY protected by the First Amendment, so this language is completely redundant.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Aug 20, 2012 1:46:10 PM

  2. Redundant, yes, but beneficial for us, absolutely.

    If the religious freedom bit weren't in there, you'd better believe every anti-gay hate group would be polluting the airwaves with scare tactics about how this will violate their religious freedom (they'll do that anyway, actually).

    This ballot language gives them even fewer straws to grasp at.

    Posted by: kpo5 | Aug 20, 2012 2:55:52 PM

  3. KPOS is right. If this language was in Florida's Amendment 2 last election, I bet it wouldn't have passed.

    Posted by: Dr. Christopher Blackwell | Aug 21, 2012 12:17:57 AM

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