The Maryland State Board of Elections has finalized the wording for the state’s impending referendum on a recently passed same-sex marriage law. Appearing as Question 6, the referendum has been titled the “Civil Marriage Protection Act,” the name the bill had when passed by the legislature. It will read on the ballot as follows:
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.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality praised the wording, calling it “accurate and straightforward” for the way it reflects the bill’s intent: “equality under the law and protecting religious freedom.” A poll earlier this month found the referendum passing with 54 percent of voters in support and only 40 percent opposed.