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Opponents Of Same-Sex Marriage Go To Church For Referendum Signatures

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The battle over the state’s same-sex marriage law wages on. Sunday, the debate was front and center in many churches.

Adam May has more.

At the Greater Harvest Baptist Church in West Baltimore, members are urged to take a political stand. The church is one of more than 1,000 churches kicking off a petition drive to repeal the state’s same-sex marriage law this fall.

“It’s between a man and a woman,” said Carleta Whitfield. “It’s in the Bible.”

Earlier this month, Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the bill into law, making Maryland the eighth state to recognize same-sex marriage. Days later, opponents launched the campaign to strike it down.

Now this weekend, the drive for signatures begins with many opponents citing scripture.

“You got a man and a man, a woman and a woman. What’s equal about that? Nothing,” said Gregory Whitfield, an opponent of same-sex marriage. “Neither one can produce kids. God said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’”

But other churches support same-sex marriage, and there’s more division within religions explained by this group of progressive Catholics.

“We are basically speaking about human beings and their human dignity and about the fact their rights and families have to be protected,” Frances DeBernardo of the New Ways Ministry.

Opponents need almost 56,000 signatures by the end of June to get the issue on the ballot.

Same-sex couples hope they fail.

“I feel like our lives are not American Idol. I don’t think the validation our family’s respectability should be put up to a popular vote,” Lisa Polyak, a same-sex marriage supporter, said.

If churches fail to get enough signatures, same-sex couples will be allowed to tie the knot in January.

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