Marriage Board, Photo Cause Stir at Polling Place
A photo of the first couple on a board about a marriage seminar appeared to some Annapolis voters as subtle electioneering against same-sex marriage.
Election judges at an Annapolis polling place removed a photo that appeared to imply that President Barack Obama advocated against same-sex marriage on Tuesday.
The picture, which appeared to be of the president and first lady Michelle Obama on their wedding day, was stapled to a bulletin board about "the art of marriage" that gets "to the heart of God's design."
Maryland voters will decide Question 6 on Tuesday—a yes vote would keep a law passed in February legalizing same-sex marriages.
Obama endorsed Maryland's law in October—five months after he came out in support of gay marriage generally, according to The Huffington Post.
The bulletin board does not mention same-sex marriage or the referendum. It advertises those who have participated in six video sessions about marriage.
"The Election Board had a bipartisan discussion, and they said the board could stay, but we had to remove the picture," said Roger Cantrell, an election judge at the Holy Temple Church of God International.
Cantrell said several voters also complained that the bulletin board itself seemed to be subtle electioneering against Question 6. He said election officials from Anne Arundel County told him they decided it did not rise to a level that they found troubling.
"They're a church," Cantrell said. "They weren't trying to sway the vote."
David Clow disagreed. He tweeted an image of the sign while he waited to vote, saying "'Subtle' marriage campaigning at the polls here in Annapolis. I call BS."
The church's director of public relations did not respond to Patch's request for comment.
Election officials in Philadelphia ordered that a mural of Obama be covered up after receiving complaints on Tuesday as well, according to the Wall Street Journal.
What do you think? Was the church trying to send a message?
- Click here to view an image of the Obamas on their wedding day that resembles the image removed from the bulletin board.