Maryland’s secretary of state certified ballot language for seven statewide questions in November (three constitutional amendments, three referendums and one other question). Among the questions on the ballot this year: The legalization of same-sex marriages and expansion of gambling in the state—two issues that have dominated state politics this year.
Here is the exact language in which marriage and gambling will appear on the ballot. To see all the questions click here.
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.
Do you favor the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education to authorize video lottery operation licensees to operate "table games" as defined by law; to increase from 15,000 to 16,500 the maximum number of video lottery terminals that may be operated in the State; and to increase from 5 to 6 the maximum number of video lottery operational licenses that may be awarded in the State and allow a video lottery facility to operate in Prince George's County.
The Post writes that the wording of the questions has already drawn confusion. The question about approving a new casino in the state doesn’t even include the words “casino” or “gambling.”
Plus: According to the Post, critics are saying that the referendum on the state’s Dream Act wrongly suggests that it was intended to help many residents other than undocumented immigrants.
IN OTHER NEWS:
* The Justice Department signed off on Virginia’s new voter ID law, which closes a provision that had allowed Virginians to vote without identification but also expands the types of ID accepted at the polls.
* Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s rape comments elicited angry reactions in Maryland.
* Maryland Republican Senate candidate Dan Bongino gets an endorsement from former GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
* The Baltimore Sun editorial board writes that instead of protesting the Chick-fil-A on campus, students at the University of Maryland should put their energies into the November gay marriage referendum.
* Marion Barry makes an appearance on CNN to talk about standing back up after getting knocked down.
* A D.C. Council candidate says incumbent Michael Brown should be deemed ineligible to appear on the ballot in November, arguing that many of the nominating petition signatures he submitted are ineligible.
* The Virginia board ordered to write stricter rules for abortion clinics will reconsider its recommendations after conservative Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said last month that the board didn't go far enough.