Bad Bet: Casino Backer Offends Same-Sex Marriage and Dream Act Advocates

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Tomorrow Marylanders vote on many important items, not just whether to reelect Barack Obama, but Questions 4 (The Well-Named Dream Act, which allows immigrant kids who are state residents to pay the same tuition as other Maryland residents if their parents have paid taxes and proved stand-up), 5 (Sneaky Redistricting Map), 6 (Same-Sex Marriage), 7 (Jobs and Schools? Nope…Casinos: table games everywhere + a big, brand-new casino in Prince Georges County). Because this is a blog/opinion post, I’ll admit I have memorized a simple yes, no, yes, no mnemonic for 4, 5, 6, 7. Plus, as backup because I’m forgetful, coined the dorky phrases: “I am 4 racial equality, 5’s a jive, 6 is sexy and fair, 7’s unlucky, lady.” And speaking of keeping the numbers and yeas and nays straight, I was pleased to read yesterday in The Baltimore Sun that the casino-brained developers of National Harbor have handed supporters of both same-sex marriage (goodbye, Dark Ages!) and the Dream Act (is that you, American Dream?) good reason to vote N-O on 7.Seems that Peterson Cos. — the company behind the casino push —  gave $271,515 to the Republican Leaders Referendum Guide, high-rolling money used to create a sample ballot opposing three ballot questions (4, 5, 6) but supporting gambling’s growth.

Company spokesperson Angela Sweeney claimed the chip-tipping company’s not taking any stance on ballot questions besides 7, but reported facts stack up differently.

And this isn’t the first time gambling’s refused to sit at the same table as same-sex marriage, reports Michael Dresser in aforementioned Sun article.

“During the debate over the gambling bill in the General Assembly, Peterson rival Penn National Gaming financed a mailing against the legislation issued by a gay and lesbian organization that didn’t want gambling on the same ballot.”

So, again, 4, 5, 6, 7: yes, no, yes, no. I think I got it now. Welcome your thoughts below!



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