Tuesday, October 30, 2012

POLL: Very Tight Race on MD's Question 6

A new poll of likely voters shows a very tight race in Question 6, the referendum on same-sex marriage in Maryland, with 47% of voters saying they want same-sex marriage to be illegal and 46% saying they want it to be legal. This new poll is from the same pollsters that had previously shown a 49%-39% lead for Question 6. The margin of error in the polls s 3.5 percentage points. The rule of thumb is that the vast majority of voters in the "Undecided/refused" category tend to vote against marriage equality.

The Baltimore Sun reports:
The numbers have moved amid television and radio commercials from the Maryland Marriage Alliance, which opposes same-sex marriage, and stepped-up efforts by pastors preaching against Question 6.
Much of the advertising is focused on African-American voters, a bloc that traditionally opposed same-sex marriage but had been warming to the idea. In late September, the Sun poll showed a majority of blacks in favor of Question 6 — evidently a high-water mark.
This time, the poll found 50 percent of black voters oppose the measure and 42 percent support it.
The new Sun poll found that 70 percent of the respondents who attend a religious service once a week are against Question 6.
"I'm a Catholic," said Laura Long, a 46-year-old Annapolitan who says she will vote no. "There are going to be some things not everybody can do," she said, saying marriage is one of them. "Leave it as religious sacrament."
But Charles McDougle, a 61-year-old black man from Temple Hills, said he sees same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue. "I'm not a theologian," he said. "I'm not trying to get into all the inner workings of the Bible on this marriage question."
A bright spot for supporters is that a slight majority of likely female voters — 51 percent — support same-sex marriage, the poll found.
June Stouffer, 64, of Washington County said the key to her decision to vote yes on Question 6 is "the fact that religious personnel are not required to marry people if it is against their beliefs."
Younger voters — those under 35 — are among the strongest supporters of the measure, the poll found. But they are also a group known for low voter turnout, [the pollster] noted.
This is not a good trend in Maryland, but it should be interesting to see if the campaign for marriage equality so that a post mortem analysis can identify changes in public opinion is a result of the heterosexual supremacists mendacious ads.

That's a pretty eye-popping number of 70% of religious people opposed to marriage equality. *sigh* I suppose it is too much to expect someone who believes in an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful old dude in the sky to understand the concept that we're talking about a civil marriage license issued by the state very similar to how the state issues licenses for other activity. This has nothing to do with what churches or religious institutions want to call a marriage. But it is still annoying and frustrating that people can have such misguided views and the power to enact them into public policy through voting on ballot measures. It is precisely this combination opponents of equality count on.

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