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New Poll Finds Majority in Maryland Now Support Gay Marriage

A new Washington Post poll finds the marriage equality winds have shifted in Maryland:

Maryland "A clear majority of people responding to the poll -- 55 percent -- also say that if gays get married in another state, those unions should be considered legal in Maryland; 38 percent say the state should not recognize them. Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) in February told state agencies to begin granting married same-sex couples from elsewhere the same rights as Maryland's heterosexual couples. The poll, conducted May 3-6, finds that 46 percent overall favor legal same-sex marriage, 44 percent oppose it, and 10 percent have no opinion. Among registered voters, 48 percent are in favor and 43 percent are opposed. In late 2007, an identical Post poll question found 44 percent in favor overall and 51 percent opposed."

Said Gansler of the numbers: "More and more people know gay people and realize they are working people, that they do their jobs and conduct their lives like everybody else. Attitudes are changing, and they are changing rapidly because there is a recognition that it is unfair, legally and morally, to prohibit people from the pursuit of happiness. Twenty years from now we'll look back and think this was a quaint discussion -- every state will have gone this way."

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  1. Hope those numbers continue to hold up. Once this works its way through the MD courts and is upheld my husband and I are crossing the border to DC to make our 22 years together official.

    Posted by: Tim W | May 11, 2010 8:11:36 AM

  2. We can thank a lot of dedicated people who worked hard to drive these numbers.

    Posted by: Paul | May 11, 2010 8:41:13 AM

  3. @ Tim W.: You should go ahead and do it now. Isn't Maryland still recognizing out-of-state marriages? My partner and I married in D.C. on 13 April (I wanted the Ides of March; he wanted Hitler's birthday; we compromised). Not that you have to do everything Zach and I do; but you shouldn't wait for something this monumental.

    I went in to the courthouse assuming this was going to be no big deal, and I cried twice during the service. Also: our officiant was adorable and pocket-sized and I recommend her to anyone getting married, only I don't remember her name. (Probably best not to ask for the "adorable and pocket-sized lady" at the courthouse.)

    Posted by: Mike B. | May 11, 2010 8:45:09 AM

  4. While this is encouraging news, we can't in one breath say that the majority cannot vote on the rights of a minority (Prop 8) and then use polls of citizens to justify advancement of our rights. Gay rights are human rights whether agreed on by 10% or 90% of people. Let's not get distracted by these polls.

    Posted by: Aron | May 11, 2010 10:13:10 AM

  5. A couple issues...

    - 46% favor-44% oppose is not a majority, it's a plurality. Further, anyone who "doesn't know" or has "no opinion" when asked about gay marriage is really a no. 46%-54% is a more accurate snapshot of the Maryland electorate.
    - If this ever comes up for a vote, knock another 2-4% off the side of the good guys because the likely voter universe in coming years will probably be more Republican and more conservative.

    All that said, 46-44 in OUR favor is a lot better than 44-51 against us, which was the result in 2007. The trend is agonizingly slow but it's in the right direction.

    Posted by: jersey | May 11, 2010 10:41:26 AM

  6. Andy - thanks for this story but please stop using the term "Gay Marriage" as in your headline. It sounds like something different from "marriage," and it isn't. "Marriage equality," which you also use, is the accurate description.

    Posted by: Doug | May 11, 2010 12:17:30 PM

  7. @Mike B.
    My partner of 16 and 1/2 years and I applied for our Marriage license yesterday and saw your "adorable pocket lady" as she was finishing a marriage of a lesbian couple in the "ceremony" room. She seemed fun!

    We live in New Carrollton, MD and will tie the knot in DC on Friday June 18th followed by a church service at our Episcopal Church in Glenn Dale, MD on Sat. June 19th.

    We agree and don't want to wait for it to go through the courts before we make it official. We are plunging right ahead and will see what happens when the courts take up a test case. We encourage Tim W. to do it as soon as they can! There is really no reason to wait!

    Our best to all the happy couple out there!

    Posted by: dctopman | May 11, 2010 3:36:19 PM

  8. @DCTopMan:

    First off, mazel tov! Also, if you get the Pocket-Sized Officiant, know this: she's camera-shy. She'll get in your picture; however, she'd rather not.

    When we applied for our license, I asked the woman helping us if she could tell, just by looking, which couples were going to make it and which couples weren't.

    "We're not supposed to do that! But you totally can." And then she said, "You have to walk by divorce court, and child support court, and family court, to get here; if you can make that long walk and still want to get married? I think you've got a good chance."

    Posted by: Mike B. | May 11, 2010 4:43:15 PM

  9. @Jersey: I agree with most of your reasoning. Unfortunately, this points to the conclusion that the upcoming marriage equality law will be OVERTURNED by the people in 2012, just like Question 1 in Maine. Let's not fool ourselves.

    Posted by: Bruno | Jan 21, 2011 4:12:39 PM

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