Church denies direct role, butleaked email details efforts
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
Members of the Mormon Church in Marylandare working to overturn the state’s recentlypassed marriage equality law, according to anemail obtained by the Washington Blade.In the message dated March 29 sent toD.C. and Southern Maryland-area churchmembers, the writer states that a coalition of inter-denominational Maryland churches has joined to place a referendum before voters inNovember on the marriage law before it goesinto effect.“We need to collect approximately 200,000signatures by the end of May,” the emailstates. “We are looking for people to gathersignatures within the LDS community.”LDS refers to the church’s formal name, theChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Those involved with the effort have told theBlade the message isn’t an ofﬁcial messagefrom church leadership either at the local levelor from its headquarters in Salt Lake City, but israther part of a local ad hoc effort to challengeMaryland’s marriage law.The email says the “important effort” isbeing led by Martha Schaerr, an LDS memberwho’s organizing signature collection withinMontgomery County and within the church.Another named organizer in the emailis Teressa Wallace.An informed source said the email was sentto the entire congregation in D.C. and Southern
OUR COMMUNITY, OUR STORIES SINCE 1969
But challenger trails Orange in closerace, awaits absentee vote count
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.firstname.lastname@example.org
Challenger Sekou Biddle beat incumbent D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange in 12 of 14 voter precincts considered
Orange by 523 votes in a hotly contested at-large Council raceconsidered too close to call on Wednesday.Orange was leading with 39.8 percent of the votecompared to Biddle’s 38.8 percent in a Democratic primaryelection in which only 15.5 percent of registered Democratsturned out to vote.
community called the two “spoilers” for taking away votesthat likely would have gone to Biddle and enabled him towin the race.Ofﬁcials with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics saidthe ﬁnal outcome of the race was not expected to be knownuntil more than 3,000 absentee and provisional ballots arecounted on April 13.
by calling for the city’s same-sex marriage law to go beforevoters in a referendum.
activists, with Orange and Shapiro also lining up support in
at-large race because club members were divided in theirsupport between Biddle, Orange and Shapiro and none of the candidates could obtain a required 60 percent of thevote from the club’s membership to secure an endorsement.Another four Council members running in the primary,including two who voted against the same-sex marriage lawin 2009, easily won their races, enabling them to advance to
marriage as between a man and woman, a position backed by the MormonChurch, of which he is a member.
PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE; COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA.ORG
Mormons working to overturnMaryland marriage law
Foundry advocates formarriage equality, plusEaster services and MCC newsin our Spirituality special section.
Lesbian comedian WandaSykes to perform as
after $29 million renovation.
Biddle wins ‘gay’ precincts