2:06 pm Oct. 9, 2012
Here's a page from the Marylanders for Marriage Equality web site, urging supporters to help make Maryland "the first state ever to pass marriage equality."
A perplexed reader in New York brought the site to my attention. Already, six states and the Distirct of Columbia have marriage equality laws on the books, including New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed it through the legislature, with much fanfare, in 2011.
Maryland passed marriage equality back in February; the governor there, Martin O'Malley, signed it into law in March. But opponents gathered enough signatures to force a referendum.
So "first state ever" is a reference to Maryland legalizing it through a voter referendum, according to the group's spokesman, Kevin Nix. It would be the first "state," as opposed to state legislature.
At an appearance in New York in September, O'Malley indicated that the referendum victory for same-sex marriage would be a more significant accomplishment than the instances in which its legalization has been accomplished legislatively.
On Election Day, four other states will have marriage equality referendums on the ballot: Washington State, Minnesota, Maine and Maryland.