Two very different ballot issues, gambling and marriage equality, are finding their streams crossed in Maryland, where the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Action Fund Maryland Political Action Committee has sent a mailer to pro-equality voters asking them to vote "no" on a proposed ballot measure that would expand gambling in the Old Line State. Voters there will decide this fall whether to keep or toss a law allowing same-sex marriage.
"We encourage anyone who supports Marriage Equality to contact their legislators and ask them to say 'no' to gaming… If the gaming bill is on the ballot, opponents are likely to spend millions identifying and turning out voters who don't like gambling … and who also don't like Marriage Equality! So all the 'no' votes on gaming could also be 'no' votes for us," reads the mailer, obtained by Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed. "Numerous polls confirm this, and several bloggers and political pundits in Maryland have said the same thing."
But Jonathan Capehart at the Washington Post argues otherwise, writing recently, "The 'yes' vote for the gaming initiative is not only much bigger than the 'no' vote, it is more energized (with nearly double the strong support) and supports the marriage referendum by better than a 2-to-1 margin. Thus, fears that the gaming amendment will suppress support for the marriage referendum are unwarranted."
Though the national NGLTF wasn't directly responsible for this initiative, communications director Inga Sarda-Sorensen told Geidner that the NGLTF's Action Fund "believes an uncluttered ballot is the best ballot, and provides for the best chance for securing marriage equality in Maryland," which is why keeping the gambling initiative off November's ballot may be best for progress there.