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Last year, the state legislature attempted to pass a similar bill but it failed to get out of the legislature. Since that failure, O'Malley has been actively pushing for a bill to be passed this year, vowing to sign the legislation into law. One of the provisions that was added to the bill that I think allowed it to pass this time was a provision that the law would not go into effect until January 1st, 2013, rather than October 1st, which would allow the opportunity for opponents to get the initiative on a referendum in November.
I have stated here in the past that I do not have strong feelings one way or the other on the issue of gay marriage. I do not feel that it would impact me that much. I can be empathetic and can see the merits on both sides of the discussion. On the one hand, I understand the religious and social arguments against same sex marriage. Still, there are certain rights that married couples have that I think could be extended to same sex couples.
I fully expect that opponents of the law will gather enough signatures on petitions to have the measure brought to referendum. As of right now, I have not made up my mind how I would vote on this legislation. Thus far, when these matters have been brought to a vote of the people, they have failed to pass. There is another measure that will be on the ballot that I feel more strongly about, and that is Maryland's version of the Dream Act giving in state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants. I will most definitely vote against that one.
While I have not fully made up my mind regarding how I will vote if it makes the ballot, there are things that could sway me one way or the other. One such thing that could have an impact on my decision is the video below of State Attorney General Douglas Ganzler. In the video, Ganzler talks of the steps the governor has taken to ensure that the measure passes, even if it is voted down by the citizens. Particularly disturbing are his comments about "voting machines not working." Sounds kinda fishy to me.
Hat tip to the Maryland Republican Party who posted it to their Facebook timeline which is how I learned of this video.