Opponents of equal marriage in Maryland have provided more than twice the required number of signatures in order to bring forth a statewide referendum on the issue during November’s presidential elections.

Maryland has already legalised marriage equality, but the law does not come into effect till January 2013. Though that hasn’t prevented the highest court in the state from saying that gay couples married in other states can get married within Maryland.

Now, anti-gay activists say they have gathered and submitted 113,000 signatures yesterday, double the 55,736 signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot. The state now has 20 days to verify the signatures.

As it happens, the opponents were required to submit only a third of the required signatures by yesterday, and it would have been sufficient for the remainder to be submitted by the end of June.

However, gay rights activists do not seem deterred. A spokesperson for Marylanders for Marriage Equality has said that while it was not unexpected that the petition would meet the required number of signatures, those opposed to equal marriage were losing ground.