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Maryland board of elections approves same-sex marriage repeal for ballot

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.

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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