Maryland Question 6

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Referendum Question 6
Civil Marriage Protection Act
Results
Yes or no Votes Percentage
Yes check.svg Yes 1,373,504 52.43%
X mark.svg No 1,246,045 47.57%
Valid votes 2,619,549 70.9%
Invalid or blank votes 1,074,990 29.1%
Total votes 3,694,539 100.00%
Results by County
Maryland Question 6 breakdown by county.png
  For—70-80%
  For—60-70%
  For—50-60%
  Against—50-60%
  Against—60-70%
  Against—70-80%
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections - Official Results

Question 6 (colloquially called the Maryland same-sex marriage referendum) is a referendum that appeared on the general election ballot for the U.S. state of Maryland to allow voters to approve or reject the Civil Marriage Protection Act—a bill legalizing same-sex marriage—passed by the General Assembly in 2012. The referendum was approved by 52.4% of voters on November 6, 2012. The law went into effect on January 1, 2013.[1]

Ballot measure[edit]

The ballot measure read as follows:[2]

Question 6
Civil Marriage Protection Act

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.

The choices read as follows:[2]

For the Referred Law
Against the Referred Law

History[edit]

The Civil Marriage Protection Act[3] was passed by the Maryland General Assembly in February 2012 and signed on March 1, 2012, by Governor Martin O'Malley. The Maryland House of Delegates approved the bill by a 72–67 vote,[3][4] and the Maryland Senate approved the bill by a vote of 25–22.[5][6] Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the bill were included to ensure that religious leaders, religiously-controlled institutions, and their programs are legally protected from being required to officiate or provide facilities for a same-sex marriage or couple if they refuse.[7]

Opponents of same-sex marriage announced the launch of the petition drive for the referendum two weeks later.[8] "The General Assembly and the governor do not have the final word on marriage in Maryland," said Derek McCoy, executive director of Maryland Marriage Alliance. "The people do."[8] Petitioners submitted more than twice the number of required signatures to place the referendum on the election ballot,[9] and in June, the State Board of Elections announced that enough were validated.[10]

Support and opposition[edit]

Campaign signs outside of a polling place in Towson, Maryland. November 2012.

Support for Question 6 consisted of a coalition of civil rights leaders, clergy,[11] businesses,[12] partners,[13] and politicians known as Marylanders for Marriage Equality.[14] The opposition to Question 6 consisted of religious figures and politicians known as the Maryland Marriage Alliance.[15]

Governor Martin O'Malley, a Catholic, led the 2012 campaign for same-sex marriage in Maryland.[16][17][18] O’Malley said he concluded that "discriminating against individuals based on their sexual orientation in the context of civil marital rights is unjust" and "treating the children of families headed by same-sex couples with lesser protections under the law than the children of families headed by heterosexual parents, is also unjust."[19]

Arguments supporting Question 6 included protecting the children of gay and lesbian couples by affording their parents equal rights under the law,[20] improving quality of life,[21] principles of fairness,[22] civil equality,[23] and highlighting religious protections.[24] Arguments in opposition to Question 6 included protecting children from being taught same-sex marriage in public schools[25] with a focus on "boys can marry boys",[26][27][28][29] preserving parental rights,[30] a traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman,[31] and protecting religious beliefs.[32] An official at Gallaudet University, Angela McCaskill, used as an example[33] of religious persecution in a political ad opposing same-sex marriage, opted to have herself removed because it was misleading.[34] McCaskill, who was fired after the university learned that she signed the petition in opposition of Question 6, said she signed solely "because she believed the matter should be voted on."[35] Her personal views on same-sex marriage were unknown.[34] Religious officials, as well as supporters of same-sex marriage rallied for McCaskill and called for her reinstatement, stating that she should not be penalized for her personal views.[36] Several dozen small employers in the state have said that same-sex marriage will be good for business, helping to attract and retain talent.[37]

Fundraising[edit]

Advocates for Question 6 raised a total of approximately $4.1 million: contributions from the organizations and individuals under Marylanders for Marriage Equality (78.5%), Human Rights Campaign's National Marriage Fund and Maryland Families PAC (14.2%), NAACP's National Voter Fund for Question 6 (5.8%), Freedom to Marry's Maryland PAC (0.9%), and Maryland for All Families (0.1%).[38] Opponents of Question 6 raised a total of approximately $1.7 million: contributions from the organizations and individuals under Maryland Marriage Alliance,[38] National Organization for Marriage (75%), and the Knights of Columbus (14.7%).[39]

Notable Supporters
Notable Opponents

Opinion polls[edit]

Public opinion surveys have reported those in favor of same-sex marriage and those opposed.

Date of opinion poll Conducted by Sample size
In favor Opposed Undecided Margin of Error
January 9–15, 2012[56] Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies 808 49% 47% 4% ±3.5%
January 23–26, 2012[57] The Washington Post 1,064 50% 44% 6% ±3.5%
March 5–7, 2012[58] Public Policy Polling 600 52% 44% 4% ±3.5%
March 16–19, 2012[59] OpinionWorks 601 40% 43% 16% ±4%
May 14–21, 2012[60][61] Public Policy Polling 852 57% 37% 6% ±3.5%
July 24–28, 2012[62][63] Hart Research Associates 504 54% 40% 6% ±4.5%
September 17–23, 2012[64] Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies 813 51% 43% 6% ±3.5%
September 25–27, 2012[65] OpinionWorks 804 49% 39% 12% ±3.5%
October 11–15, 2012[66] The Washington Post 843 52% 43% 5% ±4%
October 20–23, 2012[67][68] OpinionWorks 801 46% 47% 6% ±3.5%
October 21–25, 2012[69][70] Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center
at Goucher College
667 55.4% 39.2% 5.4% ±3.79%

Results[edit]

On November 6, 2012, the measure was approved by 52.4% of voters.[71][72] In a statement regarding the election results, Governor Martin O'Malley said "Whether your parents happen to be gay or straight, Democratic, Republican or Independent, your families are equal before the eyes of the law."[73] The leading opposition group said that "No matter how it turns out, there have been thousands of people who are engaged in the process."[73] On November 29, 2012, Attorney General Doug Gansler issued a legal opinion stating that court clerks could begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples once the governor certified the election results on December 6, 2012, though they would not become effective until January 1, 2013.[74] 21 out of the 24 counties in Maryland chose to issue the licenses ahead of schedule.[1]

An exit poll conducted by AP and Edison Research found:[75]

  • 7 in 10 young voters, age 29 and under, voted in favor of same-sex marriage.
  • Almost 6 in 10 of those age 30 to 44 voted in favor of same-sex marriage.
  • Nearly two-thirds of women with children voted in favor of same sex marriage.
  • White residents voted in favor of same sex marriage.
  • African American residents narrowly voted against same sex marriage.
  • Those over age 45 slightly voted against same-sex marriage.
  • Nearly two-thirds of those age 65 and older voted against same-sex marriage.

County breakdown[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "We Won Marriage – Now What? Answers to Your Questions". Equality Maryland. November 8, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "2012 General Election Ballot Question Language". elections.state.md.us. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "House Bill 438. Civil Marriage Protection Act (2012).". Maryland General Assembly. Retrieved January 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Maryland House Of Delegates Passes Marriage Equality Bill". ThinkProgress. February 17, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ Lopez, Ricardo (March 1, 2012). "Md. gay marriage bill to become law Thursday afternoon, opponents begin referendum effort". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ Hill, David (February 23, 2012). "Maryland senate approves same-sex marriage bill". The Washington Times. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  7. ^ Volsky, Igor (January 25, 2012). "Maryland’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill Includes Most ‘Explicit’ Religious Conscience Protections". Think Progress. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Wagner, John (March 14, 2012). "Same-sex marriage opponents in Md. start collecting signatures - Maryland Politics". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  9. ^ Linskey, Annie (May 29, 2012). "Same-sex marriage opponents gather twice the signatures needed for referendum". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  10. ^ Wagner, John (June 7, 2012). "Same-sex marriage headed to ballot in Md.". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Maryland Faith for Marriage Equality". Marylanders for Marriage Equality. Retrieved November 12, 2012. 
  12. ^ "MD Businesses for Marriage Equality". Marylanders for Marriage Equality. Retrieved November 12, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Partner List". Marylanders for Marriage Equality. Retrieved November 12, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "Maryland Charts New Path for Marriage Equality in U.S.". MarylandersforMarriageEquality.org. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c d e Lavers, Michael K. (October 22, 2012). "Minister describes gays as 'predators"'at Md. rally". Washington Blade. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Maryland Politics: O'Malley raises money for same-sex marriage campaign". Weblogs.baltimoresun.com. September 8, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  17. ^ Linskey, Anne (March 1, 2012). "O'Malley signs same-sex marriage bill". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Md. Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Gay Marriage". ABC News. AP. March 1, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Wagner, John (December 21, 2011). "O’Malley, archbishop at odds over same-sex marriage, letters show". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Maryland Politics: O'Malley raises money for same-sex marriage campaign". baltimoresun.com. September 8, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  21. ^ John Riley. "Gov. O'Malley Signs Marriage Equality Bill, Making Maryland Eighth State (Plus DC) to Do So". Metroweekly.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  22. ^ Julie Mertus (March 4, 2012). "Gay marriage: A referendum is inappropriate". Articles.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  23. ^ Editors (October 24, 2012). "Maryland same-sex marriage referendum". Articles.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  24. ^ "African-American Pastors Rally in Support of Maryland's Question 6: Group says measure is about civil rights, not religion; counters perceptions of African-American clergy opposing marriage equality: News section". Metro Weekly. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Opposition to Question 6 in Overdrive: Marriage-equality opponents, down in polls, employ shock tactics, misinformation campaign". Metro Weekly. October 27, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  26. ^ Jean Marbella (October 30, 2012). "Debate over Maryland Question 6 focuses on 'teaching' gay marriage". Articles.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  27. ^ Wagner, John (October 26, 2012). "Ad on school curriculum sparks heated debate in Maryland’s gay marriage fight". Articles.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  28. ^ John Riley (February 10, 2012). "Maryland House Committees Host Joint Marathon Hearing on Marriage Equality - Poliglot". Metroweekly.com. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Marriage in Maryland: Fact Check". ACLU of Maryland. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Maryland Marriage Alliance Commercial Highlights Threats to Parental Rights". Marylandmarriagealliance.org. October 26, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  31. ^ "The Threat to Marriage". Marylandmarriagealliance.org. November 6, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  32. ^ Conneen, Mike (October 17, 2012). "Angela McCaskill featured in new political ad". WJLA.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  33. ^ Lavers, Michael K. (October 22, 2012). "Minister describes gays as 'predators"'at Md. rally". Washington Blade. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  34. ^ a b "Maryland gay marriage opponents make false claims". Articles.baltimoresun.com. October 17, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  35. ^ Johnson, Jenna (October 13, 2012). "Gallaudet worker: ‘Pro-democracy,’ not anti-gay". Articles.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  36. ^ Chibbaro, Lou (January 8, 2013). "Gallaudet reinstates chief diversity officer". Washington Blade. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  37. ^ Mirabella, Lorraine (November 10, 2012). "Maryland same-sex marriage law good for business, employers say". Articles.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  38. ^ a b "Question 6: Voter's Edge". Votersedge.org. November 5, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  39. ^ a b Brydum, Sunnivie (November 7, 2012). "Maryland Officially Becomes Gay Marry Land". Advocate.com. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  40. ^ "President Obama Embraces Marriage Equality in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota". GLAAD. October 25, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  41. ^ a b c d Annie Linskey (February 17, 2012). "Maryland lawmakers under national pressure on marriage bill". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  42. ^ Bolcer, Julie (October 9, 2012). "Maryland NAACP Releases Radio Ad for Marriage Equality". Advocate.com. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  43. ^ Harris, Hamil R. (September 22, 2012). "Prominent black clergy support Maryland same-sex marriage". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  44. ^ "It's About Fairness: Rev. Delman Coates for Question 6". YouTube. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  45. ^ Grass, Michael (November 10, 2012). "Maryland Question 6 Advocates' Alliance With 2 Baptist Pastors Helped Build Broad Support". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  46. ^ "Ravens' Brendon Ayanbadejo thrilled gay marriage approved in Maryland". USAToday.com. November 7, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  47. ^ "1199 MD/DC Stands with Labor to Support Marriage Equality in Maryland". 1199seiu.org United Healthcare Workers East. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  48. ^ State affiliate of the National Education Association
  49. ^ "NAACP leader backs Maryland marriage equality". The Raw Story. September 18, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  50. ^ a b c d "Business Support Grows For Marriage Equality in Maryland". Hrc.org. November 5, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  51. ^ "Don Dwyer calls himself "the face of the opposition" to same-sex marriage". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  52. ^ "Maryland's Don Dwyer Claims Gay Marriage Supporters Have Perjured Themselves". On Top Magazine. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  53. ^ Greenberg, Chris (September 7, 2012). "Brendon Ayanbadejo Supports Gay Marriage: Emmett C Burns Jr. Sends Complaint Letter To Ravens". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  54. ^ Delegate Burns' Official Complaint Letter to Ravens Head Coach about NFL Player's Endorsement of Same-sex Marriage in Maryland Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  55. ^ "MD Delegate Emmett Burns on Out-Of-State Marriage Equality Recognition". YouTube. January 26, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  56. ^ "Maryland Poll" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  57. ^ Wagner, John (January 30, 2012). "Half of Maryland residents back legalizing same-sex marriage". Washington Post. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  58. ^ Linskey, Annie (March 8, 2012). "Poll shows slim majority supports gay marriage in Md". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  59. ^ "Poll shows same-sex referendum faces a divided public". Abc2news.com. 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  60. ^ "Public Polling Memo re: Maryland Same-Sex Marriage Referendum". Public Policy Polling. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  61. ^ Page, Clarence (May 27, 2012). "Obama's effect on gay 'rites', Polls show black voters' opinions of same-sex marriage are changing". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  62. ^ Results Of Recent Maryland Poll On Marriage Equality
  63. ^ Linskey, Annie (2012-08-02). "New poll shows majority support same-sex marriage". Articles.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  64. ^ "Maryland Poll September 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  65. ^ "Poll finds support for same-sex marriage, but not gambling". Articles.baltimoresun.com. 2012-09-29. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  66. ^ Wagner, John (October 18, 2012). "Maryland leans toward historic embrace of same-sex marriage in vote next month". Washington Post. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  67. ^ "Maryland statewide likely voter poll". baltimoresun.com. October 28, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  68. ^ Linskey, Annie (October 27, 2012). "State voters evenly split on same-sex marriage". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  69. ^ "Goucher Poll Results 1". Pl.scribd.com. October 29, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  70. ^ "Goucher College Poll Shows Broad Support for Maryland Marriage Equality". MetroWeekly. October 31, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  71. ^ Honan, Edith (November 7, 2012). "Maryland voters approve gay marriage, Maine poised to". Reuters. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  72. ^ "Voters approve same-sex marriage for the first time". CNN.com. November 7, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  73. ^ a b Linskey, Annie (November 7, 2012). "Maryland approve same-sex marriage law - Baltimore Sun". Articles.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  74. ^ "Maryland attorney general issues legal opinion on timing of same-sex marriage licenses". Washington Post. November 29, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  75. ^ "Exit polls: Maryland voters who backed Obama also favored same-sex marriage". Associated Press. November 7, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  76. ^ "Maryland State Board of Elections". Elections.state.md.us. Retrieved November 9, 2012.