By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new poll suggests a majority of Marylanders may be ready to accept gay marriage…but the matter is a long way from a vote.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on where the state stands on the issue right now.

Before same-sex couples tie the knot in Maryland, gay marriage advocates still have hurdles to clear.  But if a new Gonzales poll is any indication, Marylanders seem to be leaning in their direction.

Gita Deane, mother of two, is looking forward to marriage, as much for herself and her partner, Lisa, as for their children.

“My 10-year-old said to me, `Mom, it’s just a dignity problem.  I don’t want to have to give long explanations about my family and that my moms are not yet married,'” Deane said.  “This is about dignity.  We need to have the same dignity other families have. I think she gets it and I hope other people get it.”

Fifty-one percent of Marylanders polled support gay marriage, 44 percent oppose it and nearly five percent had no answer.  More than twice as many Democrats favor gay marriage than Republicans.  More than half of independents favor gay marriage.

Supporters of a gay marriage bill stood with Gita and Lisa Tuesday.

“I come from a family that is known for civil rights and as I said, this is the civil rights issue of our generation,” said Keiffer Mitchell. “Maryland was founded based on tolerance.  How can we as a state continue to move forward if we continue to treat some of our citizens as second-class citizens?” 

But opponents of the bill have family roots of their own.

“My parents were married for 50 years and I’m the oldest of 10 children,” Senate President Mike Miller said.  “I’ve been married for 45 years and I have five children, 13 grandchildren. I believe in the sanctity of marriage, a relationship between a man and a woman. I am personally going to vote not to expand gay marriage, but as President of the Senate, if there is a filibuster, I will vote to cut off the debate and try to move the bill forward.” 

For or against, gay marriage is clearly a matter of the heart.

It’s a very emotional issue on both sides, and opponents in the House of Delegates feel the debate could be very divisive. If the General Assembly passes the bill and the governor signs it, it would most likely go to the voters to rubberstamp or override.

A bill to allow civil unions will also be considered, but gay marriage advocates are not likely to support that.

Comments (11)
  1. Latia Morton says:

    It’s about time!!!

  2. Guest says:

    I don’t know where they are getting the people for the polls. This is just another ruse to make it seem that the majority are in approval of gay marriage. I don’t wish ill will on the gays, but I do not support gay marriage. I can understand Civil Unions, but marriage is between an man and a woman who would be creating a family with the genes of the male and the female. Perhaps you need to put this on the ballot and just see how the voters really feel instead of speculating to push an agenda.

    1. Guest says:

      “but marriage is between an man and a woman who would be creating a family with the genes of the male and the female.”

      So, if you are barren and cannot have children, you should not be allowed to be married? If a couple prefers to adopt instead of have biological children, they should not receive public acknowledgment of their relationship?

      I suppose then, we should only give out marriage certificates to couples that have already produced viable offspring. You know, since marriage is about producing biological children.

    2. I agree says:

      I agree 100%. If they want to have social acknowledgement/acceptance of their relationship, why must it be called marriage instead of civil union? For the children involved, I don’t see how having two mommies or two daddies that are “married” provides any more dignity than a civil union would.

  3. Joanie says:

    It’s not about whether people approve or not.
    This is about getting rid of the discrimination against LGBT people.
    And saying you’re not against gay people but against gay marriage essentially says “I’m not against you but I don’t think you’re worthy of this socially esteemed union.” That’s all.

  4. Higgy says:

    Polls can be made to reflect any interest or any answer. The only way to gage the interest of the citizenry is through a referendum on the ballot during the next election.

  5. HA? says:

    Marriage is between a man and a woman,thats how GOD made it and thats how it is supposed to be. Simple. I am not against anyone gay or not but marriage is between a man and a woman. No other way!

  6. Kelly Brown says:

    ok why when people are closed minded they love to say the bible this that and the other…we had slave master quoting the bible 24/7 and we all know today what they did was totally against god’s will..i am not one to take prejudice of any kind lightly….i could have sworn american citizens had the right to the pursuit of happiness..i want to get married one day i want to walk down the ale into the arms of my loving woman…but some people feel as though i shouldn’t have the right unless there is a man on the end waiting..why is that

  7. Pursit of Happiness says:

    this is why:

    mar·riage   /ˈmærɪdʒ/ Show Spelled
    [mar-ij] Show IPA

    Function: noun
    1 : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a legal, consensual, and contractual relationship recognized and sanctioned by and dissolvable only by law —see also DIVORCE
    2 : the ceremony containing certain legal formalities by which a marriage relationship is created Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
    Cite This Source

    Why do you need to call it a marriage rather than a civil union? You are entitled to happiness. However, look at why the institution of marriage was created. Marriage and procreation ensure survival of the species.

    1. Joanie says:

      So let’s nullify marriages of couples who are past childbearing age and nullify all marriages who don’t produce children within 5 years.
      Since marriage is for procreation and stuff…

      mar·riage noun \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\
      Definition of MARRIAGE
      1a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
      2: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
      3: an intimate or close union
      See marriage defined for English-language learners »
      (Retrieved on 2-3-2011)

      If you wanna use the definition of marriage from Merriam-Webster, use one from LATER than 1996.

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