From Marylanders for Marriage Equality:
Voters approved Question 6, the Civil Marriage Protection Act, paving the way for gay and lesbian couples to receive a marriage license beginning in January. Tonight is the first time in history any state has voted on and passed marriage equality on the ballot.
“Fairness and equality under the law won tonight,” said Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. “We’re sure to feel the ripples of this monumental victory across the country for years to come.”
Question 6 protects religious freedom of churches and clergy. No church or clergy member will have to perform any marriage they don’t want to.
Legislatures and courts have legalized marriage equality in six states and the District of Columbia. Maryland is the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through a vote of the people.
“This victory would not have been possible without the unparalleled leadership of Governor O’Malley, resolve of the LGBT Caucus in the legislature, and the full-court press by the Human Rights Campaign, which has been here day in and day out for more than a year working for full equality.”
Marylanders for Marriage Equality was founded by Governor O’Malley, Human Rights Campaign, 1199 SEIU, ACLU of Maryland, NAACP of Baltimore and Equality Maryland to help pass the Civil Marriage Protection Act through the state legislature earlier this year. Once the law was placed on the ballot over the summer, MDFME formed a statewide ballot campaign to pass Question 6.
Highlights of the campaign:
·Raised $6 million, including: $700,000 online, nearly $1 million from labor, $500,000 from ACLU of Maryland, and $1.9 million from HRC for the ballot campaign ($2.8 million total including the legislative effort)
·Established strong partnership with the national and Maryland NAACP to change hearts and minds in the African-American community
·Developed direct mail and TV advertisements featuring Julian Bond, Revs. Donte Hickman and Delman Coates, Todd Schuler, and Presidents Obama and Clinton
·Recruited 2,000 volunteers to cover polling places on Election Day
·Grew coalition to more than 200 coalition partners
·Mobilized interfaith coalition of mainstream denominations consisting of Protestants, Catholics, Christians, Jews and other faith traditions with a combined congregational membership of 75,000 members statewide
·Elevated stories of gay and lesbian couples and their families
·Built a robust grassroots infrastructure to educate voters that included hundreds of thousands of phone calls, emails, and door-knocks.