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Fight To Defend Same-Sex Marriage Bill Begins In Maryland

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Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, center, signs the Civil Marriage Protection Act alongside Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, left, and Speaker of the House of Delegates Michael Busch, right in Annapolis, Md., Thursday, March 1.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, center, signs the Civil Marriage Protection Act alongside Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, left, and Speaker of the House of Delegates Michael Busch, right in Annapolis, Md., Thursday, March 1.

The ink is barely dry on the bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland, but the fight over whether it will remain the law is heating up.

Just a day after signing the bill, Maryland governor Martin O'Malley set a fundraising email to supporters asking for money, as both sides of the same-sex marriage fight gear up for a possible voter referendum this fall.

Opponents of gay unions need to gather 56,000 valid signatures on petitions by the summer, and even same-sex marriage supporters expect them to succeed.

Attorney General Doug Gansler says having the issue on the ballot only adds to an already busy presidential election year: "One could argue this is the most Republican of all issues, two people contracted to do whatever they want and leave the government out of their private lives. Typically, more Democrats vote in favor of same-sex marriage and more Republicans vote against it.  That said, it's the most generational issue I've ever seen. So whether you're Republican or Democrat, if you're under 45, you typically will vote in favor of same-sex marriage."

This week, the state election board okayed the language on the petition opponents will use to force a voter referendum. 

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