They're against the same sex marriage law, and redistricting.
Governor Martin O'Malley's trip to Hagerstown on Monday was met by protesters. Members of Md. Petitions.com wanted the state's chief executive to know how they feel about his support for the same-sex marriage law, and the redistricting plan.
"The Governor forced through the legislature, causing division within the State House, and then signed it," says Jeffrey Isbell, a Volunteer Coordinator with Md. Petitions.com, speaking about the redistricting plan. "What we are trying to do is get enough signatures, it takes about 55,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot in November, and then the people are able to vote on it."
Governor O'Malley was in Hagerstown to speak at the local Motor Vehicle Administration at 1:00 PM, and that's when protesters gathered outside. Isbell says the demonstrations were going to keep their protest peaceful, and not attempt to challenge the Governor, but to let him know how they feel. "We're tired of the divisive atmosphere that he's creating. He dividing our communities, dividing the State House, dividing the entire state of Maryland," he says.
The Redistricting Plan added parts of Montgomery County to the 6th District, which extends from western Frederick County through Washington, Allegheny and Garrett Counties. It also brought in eastern Frederick County into the 8th Congressional District, which is in mostly Montgomery County. Critics say it's a way to bring give Democrats a chance to defeat long time Republican Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. Supporters say that's the way the population is trending.
Md Petitions.com has been gathering signatures to have the redistricting plan as well as the same-sex marriage law on the ballot as a referendum question during the November, 2012 general election.
Even though many of the people who are collecting the signatures are against both measures, Isbell says the petition drive is not just about being in opposition. "At the end of the day, this isn't necessarily about your specific issue or your opinion on these particular issues, but it's about giving people the right to vote on issues that they feel are importance to them, and that's what we're doing here," he says.