Reporting Meghan McCorkell
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)— A major victory for opponents of same-sex marriage. Tuesday, they turned in double the number of signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot in November.
Meghan McCorkell has more as the debate heats up once again.
Tuesday, opponents turned in more than 100,000 signatures pushing same-sex marriage to a vote. It’s a move supporters say they knew was coming.
There was box after box filled with petitions signed by more than 113,000 people calling for same-sex marriage to be put on the ballot. Opponents needed just over 55,000 signatures to push the issue to referendum.
“Every single day, we have been getting more and more momentum. Every day, people are encouraged about this issue,” said Rev. Derek McCoy, Maryland Marriage Alliance.
Since the governor signed the bill, opponents have been working to repeal it. Same-sex marriage has been defeated in every other state where it’s gone on the ballot.
“We’ve won 32 states and we intend to win the state of Maryland also,” said Bishop Angel Nunez, Maryland Marriage Alliance.
But supporters say they’ve seen a recent groundswell of support.
“The truth of the matter is our opponents have lost ground. We’ve seen a substantial growth,” said Rev. MacArthur Flournoy, Marylanders For Marriage Equality.
A new poll conducted on behalf of Marylanders For Marriage Equality finds 57 percent of those surveyed now support same-sex marriage while 37 percent say they’re opposed.
“Once people hear how hearts and minds are changing, they’re really understanding that I’m more on board with this than I am opposed to it,” Flournoy said.
Opponents say they will continue to turn in petitions until their June 30 deadline.
The state now has 20 days to verify the signatures that were turned in. If they are validated, same-sex marriage will go on the November ballot.
Opponents say they want to turn in 150,000 signatures by the end of June.