New Poll Confirms Pro-Equality Plurality In Maryland
February 22, 2011 3:18 pm ET by Carlos Maza
A new poll confirms that Maryland residents support marriage equality by an 8-point margin, according to a press release from Equality Maryland. The poll, conducted by Grove Insight, found that 49% of Maryland voters favor marriage equality, 41% oppose it, while 10% don't have an opinion. According to a press release from Equality Maryland.
Perhaps the most interesting number to come out of the poll, however, is the resistance to overturning marriage equality in a statewide referendum. 52% of those polled said they wouldn't vote to overturn the law with 35% saying they would, a 17 point gap.
This finding is significant as anti-gay groups have already promised to bring the issue to a public vote if the state legislature votes to legalize marriage equality. This poll gives gay and lesbian Marylanders hope that they won't be abandoned by their straight allies if and when that vote takes place.
Equality Maryland's press release also notes support among African Americans and Catholics:
The poll further demonstrates that the racial gap in support has virtually vanished: 48% of African Americans support marriage equality and just 41% oppose it- a net gain of 13 points since 2009. In contrast, 51% of white Marylanders favor marriage equality and only 40% oppose it- results statistically indistinguishable from blacks.
Catholic voters [support] marriage equality very strongly: 55% of Catholics support marriage and just 39% oppose it. Even Catholics who attend church frequently favor marriage equality: 50% of frequent Catholic Church attendees support marriage equality compared to just 43% who oppose it.
Equality Maryland concludes that support for marriage equality is likely to grow as time goes on, reaffirming that it's only a matter of time before a large majority of the American public supports equal marriage:
Pro-marriage forces will continue to make rapid gains because future and swing voters support marriage equality at very high rates. Support for marriage equality is strongest among young Maryland voters- 65% of voters aged 18 to 29 support marriage equality. Registered independents - a key voting bloc of swing voters - favor marriage equality by a formidable 27 points with fully 59% in support.
The poll, which was conducted by Grove Insight for Equality Maryland, isconsistent with a January 2011 Washington Post poll which found 51% of Marylanders support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.
The results are not consistent, however, with the numbers found by the National Organization for Marriage's (NOM's) anti-gay, Mormon, super-pollster Gary Lawrence. NOM's poll found that 54% of Maryland voters were opposed to marriage equality, with only 37% being in favor; that's a thirteen point increase in the size of the opposition when compared to the newest poll, and a ten point increase when compared to the Washington Post poll.
Despite NOM's best efforts, it appears marriage equality is on its way to the "Free State."