February 21, 2012
It appears likely that citizens in five states will vote on the definition of marriage this year, with the latest addition to that list being Maryland, Baptist Press reports. Maryland's House of Delegates voted 72-67 on Feb. 17 to legalize gay marriage, sending the bill to the Senate, which passed a similar bill last year. Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley has pledged to sign it; however, once it is signed, conservatives can begin collecting signatures to place the issue on the ballot in November, where voters could ultimately veto it. Voters in Washington and Maine will also likely decide in November whether to legalize gay marriage, and voters in North Carolina and Minnesota will vote in May and November, respectively, whether to define marriage as between a man and a woman in their state constitutions. In states where marriage will appear on the ballot, supporters of traditional marriage will likely spotlight two themes that have proven successful in other states: that children need both mothers and fathers, and that legalizing gay marriage will have negative consequences on religious freedom and elementary school curriculum.