A majority of Maryland voters say they
support gay marriage.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley in
March signed a gay marriage bill approved by lawmakers into law,
making Maryland the eighth state to legalize such unions.
Opponent have vowed to put the law up
for a vote in November. Nearly 56,000 valid signatures, one-third of
which would need to be submitted by May 31, with the remainder by
June 30, are needed to put the measure on the ballot. The campaign
is being organized by Maryland Marriage Alliance, which is supported
by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).
According to a
Public Polling Policy (PPP) survey of 852 likely voters conducted
between May 14 and 21 and commissioned by gay marriage advocate
for Marriage Equality, 57 percent of respondents said they would
vote to keep the law, a 5 point increase from March. Thirty-seven
percent said they would vote to repeal it, a 7 point decrease.
The increase in support is coming
almost entirely from a major shift in opinion among black voters.
In March, only 39 percent of African
American voters said they supported gay marriage. The new poll found
55 percent of black voters in favor.
The shift comes two weeks after
President Barack Obama announced his support for equal marriage
rights for gay couples. Over the weekend, the NAACP
followed Obama in announcing its support.
“Things are moving in Maryland,”
Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality,
said in a statement. “We're approaching a supermajority who want
to uphold the state's new marriage law. The message of stronger
families and greater fairness is resonating, and we're confident
Maryland will be the first state to win a ballot measure on marriage
equality and religious freedom.”
“The President's backing of marriage
equality has added to our momentum – and his being on the November
ballot also helps us,” Levin added. “Younger voters, who are
overwhelmingly supportive, are much more likely to turn out in a
“While the media has been focused on
what impact President Obama's announcement will have on his own
reelection prospects, the more important fallout may be the impact
his position is having on public opinion about same-sex marriage
itself,” PPP said in releasing the poll's findings.
for gay marriage increases among black Pennsylvanians.)