President Obama asks Maryland voters to uphold the freedom to marry at the ballot

At a speech in Baltimore yesterday, President Barack Obama spoke out against anti-gay activists who are working to overturn the freedom to marry in Maryland. He urged voters to uphold marriage for same-sex couples at the ballot this November. 

In March, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the freedom to marry into law in Maryland. Almost immediately, anti-gay groups began collecting signatures to put marriage up to a vote during the November election. Last month, the Maryland Marriage Alliance submitted enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, so the marriage law will definitely face a referendum on November 6. 

President Obama urged Maryland residents yesterday to vote to uphold marriage. He said:

 We're moving forward to a country where we treat everybody fairly and everybody equally, with dignity and respect. And here in Maryland, thanks to the leadership of committed citizens and Gov. O'Malley, you have a chance to reaffirm that principle in the voting booth in November. It's the right thing to do.

Marriage advocates in the state have been working hard to show voters that marriage is the only way to truly provide the protections that Maryland's same-sex couples need. Communities of fatih have been speaking out about the importance of upholding the freedom to marry, and polling from the state demonstrates very strong majority support for the law. 

Josh Levin from Marylanders for Marriage Equality responded to the President's comment in a statement yesterday. He said: 

We are grateful the President highlighted the marriage referendum in his remarks today. Voters identify with his journey on the issue and are re-thinking their own position on same-sex marriage. A strong majority already realize this is about treating gays and lesbians fairly under the law and about dignity for all Maryland families, not just some families. The President's history-making leadership on marriage equality has inspired new conversations around kitchen tables and in church pews, not just in Maryland but all over the country. 

The comments from President Obama yesterday can only bolster the campaign to uphold marriage in Maryland. Freedom to Marry thanks President Obama for his support and for his efforts to show that same-sex couples want the dignity and respect for their relationships that only marriage can provide.