Marriage Equality Bill Introduced in Maryland House as New Poll Reveals Most Support It

Last week, a marriage equality bill was introduced in Maryland's Senate. At a press conference today, Equality Maryland and House Majority Leader Kumar Barve of Montgomery County introduced the House version of that bill, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

The Baltimore Sun: Barve

A dozen lawmakers from the Maryland House and Senate formally kicked off their push for gay marriage this afternoon using sweeping comparisons to the civil rights battles and generational shifts in attitude.

House freshman Keiffer Mitchell from Baltimore said "years from now children will ask where you were" on the issue. "History will record where we stood." He held up a pen used by Gov. Spiro Agnew to sign the law allowing interracial marriage, and said he hopes to have a similar stylus from Gov. Martin O'Malley this year if gay marriage passes.

House Majority Leader Kumar Barve said the bill "goes to the very core of what it means to be an American." He also reference the next generation. "Twenty years from now I look forward to the day when young people will say 'What was the big deal?'" 

And a new Gonzalez poll shows the public favors it:

"In the poll, 51 percent of voters say they would favor a law in Maryland allowing same-sex couples to marry, while 44 percent opposed such a law and 5 percent gave no response."

As Steve noted over the weekend, however, anti-equality group Protect Marriage Maryland has its website and campaign ready to go should such a bill be passed.


  1. David Greenfield says

    51-44 is better than the last poll, which had support leading but under 50 percent. However, 51-44, is really 51-49 or 52-48, since undecideds will break overwhelmingly for the anti-gay side.

    Although these numbers look good superficially, they aren’t good enough to win a ballot fight. The narrow lead exists now, but based on the pattern from CA and ME, once Frank Schubert unleashes his first barrage of ads about schools teaching about gay marriage, we will fall into the mid-40s and top out in the high 40s.

    This time, we absolutely must do the following:

    – Hire a different polling and political consulting firm. No on 8 and No on 1 both used Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and it was a failure both times, more egregiously in ME. Didn’t hurt Greenberg’s bank account though.

    – Focus group an effective response to the ridiculous schools argument, something Greenberg failed to do both times.

    – Aggressively pursue arguments based on economic self-interest. Appeals to fairness only get us to 48 percent. As Frank Schubert himself discovered, to win you must appeal to the self-interest of straight voters. Put MD employers out in front in support of equality.

    – Build an overwhelming fundraising advantage. At least double what the other side raises, and shoot for triple. The ratio in CA was 1.15:1 and in ME it was 1.5:1. Not good enough.

    Our gay mega-donors have now seen their investments recover and their net worths restored, so it is time to pony up. Jared Polis needs to step up, which he failed to do in CA or ME. And Chris Hughes, our 27-year old wunderkind worth $500 million should be asked to spare some change.

    – Have a top notch GOTV. Contrary to reports in the gay press, the operation in Maine was substandard. NGLTF’s “experts” in this area were managing this in ME and they failed to match the other side, losing even in urban areas like Auburn, where the campaign had an office.

  2. Bruno says

    I’d like to see a Survey USA poll. The automated phone polls were more accurate than the ones conducted by human voices. Local pollsters like the Field poll in California seemed to be more misleading than accurate.

  3. rafi says

    David – “Have a top notch GOTV”

    This is SOOO important. Even when we have majority approval, the people who are against us are always far more enthusiastic than the straight people with us.

    Thanks for your recap.