BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The marriage debate is heating up. Just weeks after same-sex marriage is legalized in Maryland, opponents are intensifying their effort to repeal the law.
Andrea Fujii reports the big push starts this Sunday.
More than 1,000 churches across Maryland are expected to offer a petition to their members so the issue can get on the ballot.
The signing of Maryland’s same-sex marriage bill earlier this month was a victory for advocates.
“I just want to be recognized, my wife wants to be recognized,” said one.
But now the fight against it has started.
“They’re gung ho,” Del. Emmett Burns, D-Baltimore County.
On Sunday, churches across Maryland will offer the referendum petitions to its members.
Burns, also Pastor Burns, expects to collect at least 2,000 signatures at his church alone.
“The churches participating believe in the biblical word and they are furious,” he said.
Opponents must collect 55,736 valid signatures by June 30 in order for the issue to get on the November ballot. But opponents plan to gather at least 100,000 signatures just in case.
Meanwhile, Governor Martin O’Malley rallied his troops at the New Ways Ministry Conference, a gathering on Catholicism and homosexuality.
“What we hope and expect from all of our leaders is when we take an oath to uphold the Constitution, it is to protect rights equally among all people,” he said.
But from Baltimore to Frederick, opponents say they’re just as passionate and ready for a fight.
“In order to save America, to save our families, we must take a stand,” said Luke J. Robinson of the Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Frederick.
Under the bill, same-sex couples cannot get married in Maryland until January 2013.
Baltimore’s archbishop issued a statement saying the group the governor spoke to does not speak for the Catholic Church.