Gov., spiritual leaders push for Question 6

With local spiritual and civil rights leaders at his side, Governor Martin O'Malley made a plea to all heading for the polls Tuesday to vote in favor of marriage equality.

Specifically, the governor hopes Marylanders will vote in favor of Question 6 on the ballot. He compares the push to get the measure passed to the work of Frederick Douglass to encourage equality and protect religious freedom.

"He (Douglass) said that we are one. Our cause is one, and we must help each other if we are to succeed. That is what Question 6, civil marriage equality, is really all about," O'Malley said.

Delegate Luke Clippinger of Maryland's 46th district echoed the governor's drive to push the issue. He shared with those at the press conference his story of going door-to-door Sunday until his feet could no longer bear the pressure.

"I can tell you for certain, we've got the momentum in this election, and we are going to win tomorrow," he said. "...We've been fighting very hard for this issue, for a very long time."

Clippinger said the work put into the attempt at passing Question 6 makes him feel good, as there has been support from Republicans, Democrats, Green Party and clergy.

"Ultimately, we are all children of God," he said.

Local pastor Rev. Donte Hickman of Southern Baptist Church in Baltimore said passing Question 6 on the ballot is not about agreeing or disagreeing with an issue, but encouraging equal treatment and embracing inclusion.

"I believe every citizen should be treated equally under the law," he said.

Baltimore NAACP president Tessa Hill-Aston was at the special press conference Monday. She described the marriage equality discussion as a civil rights issue.

"How could the NAACP not support something that affects everybody,' she said. "We support marriage equality, because it is a civil right."

If Marylanders vote in favor of Question 6 Tuesday, Maryland would become the seventh state in addition to Washington, D.C. to approve same sex marriage.

Government leaders and clergy stressed at Monday's press conference that the law does not force clergy to perform marriage ceremonies against their religious beliefs.

Religious organizations are also not required to participate in ceremonies if they object.


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