Signatures to force a ballot referendum on a transgender rights law scheduled to take effect this fall were still being counted late Saturday night, organizers said.
The conservative group, MDPetitions.com, is attempting to collect the minimum 18,500 signatures needed to push the ballot referendum before voters in November.
"We are still counting. Today was a good day," said Washington County Del. Neil Parrott, a Republican who chairs MDPetitions.com. However, he said, "I don't know yet what this going to look like." Shortly after 10 p.m., he said organizers were still continuing to bring in signatures.
The midnight deadline is the first hurtle they need to pass in order to put the measure on the November ballot.
The legislation protects transgender people against discrimination in employment and housing. But petitioners said they are concerned because the bill upholds a transgender person's right to use public bathrooms and locker rooms for the gender with which they identify. They said the change would enable sexual predators to prey on children.
If the group does not collect enough signatures, the bill will take effect Oct. 1.