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The coalition also has received heavy out-of-state financial support. Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, has hosted fundraisers throughout the country for the group, which also has received backing from the Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s leading gay rights organizations.

Mr. McCoy said MMA is waiting for the state to officially approve its petition before adding staff and finalizing its campaign plans, and he suggested that gay-marriage supporters have gotten a head start while opponents wrap up their petition drive.

“We will be enlisting help from all over the country,” he said. “They’re going to continue their efforts, but we’re going to be very aggressive as well.”