Question 6: The gay marriage bill

This Nov. 6, residents will be lining up to cast their ballots for the president, state representatives, and local representatives. However, lesser known but arguably just as important, are the ballot initiatives. Important decisions that will undoubtedly change this state are being put up for referendum so the citizens of Maryland can decide their fate.

Questions up on the ballot this year include gay marriage (Question 6), undocumented-immigrants receiving in-state tuition (Question 4), redistricting approval (Question 5), and casino expansion (Question 7).

Introduced on Feb. 1, and signed into law a month later on Mar. 1 by Gov. Martin O’Malley, the “Civil Marriage Protection Act,” or more commonly known as “Question 6: The Gay Marriage Bill”:

  • Allows marriage licenses to be obtained by gay and lesbian couples.
  • Protects clergy from having to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of religious beliefs.
  • Affirms within religious faiths that it has exclusive control over its own doctrines regarding who may marry.
  • And does not require religious entities and organizations to provide certain goods, services, or benefits to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.

If the bill is passed on Nov. 6, the legislation will take effect on January 1, 2013.

For more information on the bill please visit this site.

The ballot

Question 6
Referendum Petition
(Ch. 2 of the 2012 Legislative Session)
Civil Marriage Protection Act
Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.
Voting “For” would be in favor to uphold same-sex marriage, and voting “Against” on the ballot would be to vote to repeal the bill signed in March of this year.