Marriage equality opponents in Maryland face a Tuesday deadline to submit at least one third of the signatures necessary to put the issue on the ballot in November.
Only 55,736 total signatures are needed to do so, with a minimum 18,759 required today, more than three months after the state legislature passed a marriage equality bill, TheWashington Timesreports:
"We're going to put this thing to rest," said Delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr., Baltimore County Democrat who opposes gay marriage. "Once it's put to rest, these politicians who are coming out in favor of this are going to be debunked and embarrassed."
Gay-marriage opponents are attempting to mount just the state's second successful petition effort in the past 20 years. Last year, opponents of the Dream Act -- a law that would allow many college-age illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition -- gathered more than 100,000 signatures to force the issue to a vote this fall.
Both petition drives have many of the same organizers and have benefited from use of a website that allows voters to print and distribute their own copies of the petition.