August 2, 2012 | by Michael K. Lavers
Poll: 54 percent of Md. voters support marriage law
Gay News, Washington Blade, Gay Marriage

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

A new poll shows that a majority of Maryland voters would vote to support the state’s same-sex marriage law in the November referendum.

Fifty-four percent of the 504 voters who responded to the Hart Research Associates survey between July 24-28 said they will vote for the statute that Gov. Martin O’Malley signed in March, compared to 40 percent who said they oppose it. The poll found that 44 percent of black Marylanders would vote for the law, compared to 45 percent who would vote against it.

“We continue to have the momentum,” said Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. “Voters are having conversations on marriage around the dinner table and are agreeing that people should be treated fairly.”

This poll comes less than three months after a Public Policy Polling survey noted that 57 percent of Marylanders would support same-sex marriage in the referendum. The same poll found that 55 percent of the state’s black voters back nuptials for gays and lesbians. PPP noted in a March survey that Marylanders for Marriage Equality commissioned that 52 percent of state voters would support the same-sex marriage law in November.

Hart noted that black same-sex marriage opponents outweighed African-American supporters by a nine-point margin in March — a polling memo credits President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality in May with the increase in support. The Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People board of directors in May approved a resolution backing nuptials for gays and lesbians.

“We’re winning over undecideds and the intensity is clearly on our side,” said Levin. “Voters are realizing that this law is about treating our gay friends, family, and neighbors equally under the law, and that no religious institution would be forced to marry anyone they objected to.”

The margin of error is ±4.5 percent.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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