Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MD Anti-Equality Group Turns In 113K Signatures To Force Referendum

It's on like Donkey Kong! In Maryland, heterosexual supremacists have submitted 113,000 signatures, more than twice the necessary number of 56,000 signatures to force a referendum on Maryland's marriage equality law to be placed on the November 2012 ballot. The marriage law will not go into effect until after the referendum question is settled. Of course, that will not stop there from being legally married couples in Maryland, thanks to a recent Maryland Court of Appeals ruling that if a couple gets legally married in a jurisdiction which allows it, that marriage is valid and legal in Maryland as well.

So, if the referendum passes it will just continue to force Maryland residents to leave the state and spend their money in other jurisdictions getting married, it will not prevent gay marriage in Maryland. But it is clear thta the people who distributed and signed the referendum petitions are not animated by logic, but by religious fervor and homophobic hatred:
In Bel Air last week, a steady stream of people approached a table set up by a trio of Maryland Marriage Alliance volunteers outside a Motor Vehicle Administration office. The venue provides a ready supply of people who have to wait around. Those trying to repeal the immigration law used the same method last year.

"Where do I sign up?" was the only question from Donald Johnson, a 76-year-old, born-again Christian who drove hispickup truck to the MVA for the express purpose of signing the petition.
Like most others observed at the site by a reporter, Johnson needed no pitch, explanation or convincing. "I have several nieces and nephews who are homosexual," he said. "I don't approve of their lifestyle."
The Maryland Marriage Alliance started its signature-gathering effort in churches, but has broadened the campaign to include door-knocking as well as stands at festivals and the MVA offices. The organization is not overly hierarchical: One activist in Allegany County took it upon himself to have 17,000 blank petitions inserted in theCumberland Times-News and delivered to Maryland households.
"People are sending those in to us," McCoy said. "We are getting Western Maryland, one by one by one."
Still, most of the people who signed the petition Wednesday at the MVA office mentioned religion and said they heard about the drive at their church.
Signers included Courtney Winberry, 50, who said she was opposed because "the Catholic church has a problem with it."
Of course, the Maryland marriage law only affects the issuance of civil marriage licenses and has no impact on who can or can not get married in a church or religious belief. But people who believe in a magical sky fairy who is all-knowing and all-powerful are not exactly the kind of people to engage in a reasoned political debate. Oy vey!

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