The Maryland Board of Elections [official website] on Tuesday officially certified [certification notice, PDF] a referendum petition seeking to challenge the state's new same-sex marriage law [SB 241, PDF] in the upcoming election. In a letter, the Board of Elections stated that the office had confirmed 122,481 signatures in support of the petition, a count that is well over the requirement of just over 55,000. The petition was organized by the Maryland Marriage Alliance [advocacy website], an advocacy group that opposes same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder]. An unofficial count [JURIST report] of certified signatures early last month indicated that the petition had already satisfied the requirement. Maryland joined the seven states that allow same-sex marriage [JURIST report] in March when Governor Martin O'Malley [official website] signed the Civil Marriage Protection Act.
Several states will include a same-sex marriage question on their ballot in the upcoming election. Minnesota voters will have the opportunity to amend the state constitutionin November , defining marriage as a heterosexual relationship. On Monday, proponents of the ballot initiative petitioned the state Supreme Court to restore the original title of the proposed amendment [JURIST report], arguing that its amended title is misleading. Last month, citizens in Washington obtained enough signatures [JURIST report] to challenge newly passed same-sex marriage legislation. The state's ballot will contain a section asking voters to accept or reject the new legislation. Similarly, a group supporting same-sex marriage in Maine achieved enough signatures [JURIST report] in February to have the question of same-sex marriage appear on its ballot. Earlier that month, New Jersey governor Chris Christie vetoed legislation [JURIST report] that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state, and called for a state-wide referendum on the issue.