Monday, November 5, 2012

Vote for Maryland Question 6 (Marriage Equality) on Tuesday

You'll find below a guest blog written by someone who cares deeply about marriage equality -- across the country but specifically in Maryland. Please read and consider the critical nature of voting FOR Question Six on the Maryland ballot tomorrow.

Dear friends,

Tomorrow is election day, and I am writing to ask for your support on an issue that is very important to me -- marriage equality. Your ballot will include several questions. On Question 6: same-sex marriage, I ask that you please vote FOR the referred law. A YES vote on Question 6 is a vote for fairness and religious freedom.

What is Question 6?

Passage of Question 6 would, for the first time, affirm the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry in Maryland. This issue may seem noncontroversial, but it is not. 30 states currently ban all forms of marriage except one-man-one-woman couples. While a handful of states (and the District of Columbia) provide full civil marriage equality rights as a result of legislation or court decisions, no state has ever voted popularly to do so. Maryland would be the first, and we hope that it will be joined on Tuesday by Maine and Washington.

The latest polls of likely voters have shown support hovering around 50% in Maryland -- too close for comfort.

So, while you might think Barack Obama has Maryland in the bag -- and you would be correct -- it is still important to vote for Question 6.

Where do I vote?

Take a moment to look up your polling place and make sure you are registered to vote. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You don't have to bring a thing -- not even your driver's license. Commit to voting and make a plan for what time you will go. There could be a line at the beginning or end of the day. As long as you are in line by 8 p.m., you should be permitted to vote.

It would mean so much to me if you would commit to voting FOR Question 6. More information is available from Marylanders for Marriage Equality.

Please forward this message to someone who might need a reminder. Thank you!

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Below is the Washington Post Endorsement of Question 6:

When [Gov.] O’Malley signed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act in March, the law’s effective date was pushed to January, giving opponents time to petition the question onto the November ballot. A vote for the landmark law would allow it to go into effect and permit committed same-sex couples to wed. It would also make Maryland the seventh state, in addition to the District of Columbia, to approve marriage equality.

Here’s what the law would not do: It would not force clergy to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their religious beliefs. Nor would religious organizations be required to participate in such ceremonies if they objected. The law strikes the right balance by protecting religious freedom while granting the freedom to marry. We urge Marylanders to vote for the law.

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