TheFour.com, a new social media campaign aimed at generating online engagement around the four ballot initiatives related to marriage equality, released a video Wednesday featuring Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.
In the one-minute video, the governor expresses optimism that “most people are arriving” at a balance between religious freedom and the freedom to marry. He signed the Civil Marriage Protection Act into law this year with protections for the beliefs of clergy members and religious institutions.
“We’re a people of many different faiths, but the flip side of freedom of religion is freedom of individual conscience, and our laws need to protect every child’s home equally under the law,” says O’Malley. “We can all have our separate faiths, but we can’t deny other people basic rights that would be allowable under their faith, or else our own faith and our own freedom of religion is threatened.”
Religion is expected to play a significant role in the vote on Question 6, the referendum to uphold the marriage equality law in Maryland. The Roman Catholic Church and some African-American pastors have been vocal opponents of marriage equality, and the two groups exert influence among voters in the state.
The governor spoke with The Advocate about the referendum at a fundraiser in New York City last week.
Described as “Facebook and Twitter meets Rock the Vote for marriage equality,” the Four.com launched this month with plans to motivate young, connected voters who support the issue in high numbers. The campaign will feature “cutting-edge and highly sharable social media content” on networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Google Plus from now through the election.
In addition to Maryland, Maine, Washington and Minnesota face ballot initiatives involving marriage this November 6.