ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A brand new poll reveals Maryland voters are split on legalizing same-sex marriage and there’s a strong divide along racial lines.

Mike Hellgren has the numbers and the raging debate.

Legalizing same-sex marriage will be one of the hottest issues in the General Assembly and just released poll numbers show Maryland voters are split. Forty-nine percent favor it and 47 percent oppose. It’s within the margin of error.

“So, too, should a gay couple’s commitment by recognized by a state government,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Key lawmakers, including Baltimore’s mayor and Governor Martin O’Malley, are pushing for passage, but the bill shows a huge divide among African-American voters. Only 33 percent favor it and 60 percent are opposed.

Peter Sprigg is fighting against legalization.

“The African-Americans understand that the color of a person’s skin are not comparable to the sex acts they engage in,” Sprigg said.

But supporters have key allies in the NAACP. Representative Donna Edwards came out forcefully for legalization this week.

“We can’t pick and choose the civil rights that we fight for,” Edwards said.

A majority of those surveyed in this poll are Democrats and most of them come from the suburbs of Maryland and Washington, D.C.

The poll also reveals passions are high: 34 percent strongly favor legalizing same-sex marriage and 38 percent strongly oppose.

Samuel Epps is part of the campaign for legalization.

“This is about fairness. It’s about protection under the law,” Epps said.

The stakes are high, without outside money expected to pour in. If marriage does pass, expect opponents to try to take it to voters for a referendum.

House Speaker Michael Busch says this legislation would go through two committees instead of one to increase its chances of going to a vote on the floor.

The poll also showed Governor O’Malley’s approval rating at 53 percent and President Barack Obama’s approval rating at 55 percent. Both of those numbers are up from the last survey in September.

Comments (16)
  1. Disgusted says:

    Why was this “POLL” not available to ALL Marylanders rather than a limited amount of Marylanders. How about polling outside the cesspool of the state!

  2. Liberal Soldier says:

    I support same sex marriage. Good point made that people can’t pick and choose who will have civil rights and who will not. Civil rights for all. To each his or her own. Let live and live.

  3. Jonathan Chiles says:

    You can have the same rights in a Civil Union. It is not over Civil Rights liberal Soldier~

    1. Liberal Soldier says:

      They can’t get Married. They don’t have to right to marry. I can have a civil union with anyone and sign over my property. They want to be married. You have the right to be married so they should too. All about Civil Rights. I have no clue why anyone would deny them of this?

  4. Rev John Elder says:

    Why is it that people care so much about who other people can and can not love when there is bigger problems in Maryland. My Partner and I have been together for 20 years and you people in Maryland that are against us can not take away what we have . He is in all my papers I leave everything I have to him so what is your problem, maybe your one of them closet cases and dont want your wife to know . Come Maryland get over it Its going to make money for Maryland there are more gay people then you know in this State,and why do you care who is sleeping in my bed worry about your house and let me take care of mine . Love is Love and we as gay marylanders will come out of this on top because most people see that this is and must be the right thing to do, As a member of the Clergy I am blessed to have someone to love me like he has and still does for all these years ,maybe we need to look at the DIVORCE rate in the streight people ,but then that dont matter to most people it called controll and to some when you feel you are losing it you make a big stink and thats all this is gget over it and to those CLERGY that say they are against this watch how many of them will be getting in on making the money from it when gay couples start getting married and they wont a piece of the pie(money) . So in short love knnows no bounds or color,or race, Its Love and that is what GOD is about. God Bless all gay couples and this is OUR Year To SHINE Rev John

  5. George Mouring says:

    It says in the Bible, for all who choose to understand God’s stance on this, that for a man to lay with a man, is an abomination, before the Lord. It is simple and direct, just like Thou shalt not kill, why are we even debating this, it’s absurd. How can man condone , what God has forbidden. Shall we change the commandments to suite the degenerates of the world as well ? Man has no authority over the Lord. nuf said!

    1. Liberal Soldier says:

      People should worship whom they wish. People should not place their goals, morale and religion on the head of others. Live and let live. Take care of your own home and love your religion and leave others alone. If you live by that we all can coexist.

    2. Diane King says:

      I wonder why we are debating this also. But not for the same reasons you do George. You do realize that not everyone believes in your God, so whatever it says in your bible is irrelevant. I wonder why we are debating the issue because I don’t see how it affects anyone other than the gay couples involved. How does gay couples getting married change the way others choose to live their lives? It doesn’t. Let them be happy for Pete’s sake and enjoy what all married couples enjoy.

  6. tylerjake says:

    Are these “polls” conducted the same way “polling” is done in Iran and North Korea?! Translation: “A brand new poll”–what poll, where, who, when…etc. It’s always breathtaking to see the headline “A brand new poll” and never know the in/out’s of how it’s even conducted!

  7. Ann says:

    A union in which two consenting adults of sound mind, pledge themselves to each other should be available to anyone. Equal protection under the law and equal rights means they should have the same rights and expectations as straight couples. If a religious institute is against it, they don’t have to officiate a wedding between same sex couples. The choice of two people to love one another does not effect you in a harmful way. Don’t like it for religious reasons, it’s not your soul to worry about. Don’t like it for emotional reasons, it isn’t you making a pledge. I am a married woman (to a man) and it is no skin off my nose if two men or two women want to marry one another. It does not harm me, effect me or concern me in any way.

    We need to stop worried about what other people choose

  8. ron says:

    these butt pluggers do not need to get married lls

    1. Liberal Soldier says:

      Ron. I am glad you have absolutely no authority to tell anyone what they can or can not do.

  9. Diane King says:

    The derogatory comments are not funny. They’re just childish. Save it for your get togethers with your drinking buddies.

  10. 1-0-3-0 WITHERSPOON says:

    putting a piece of the human body into a part were fecus comes out just is plain old wrong,,,,,dog’s got better smarts. liberal, not liberal, it’s just wrong, the annimals don’t do it but marylanders want to,,,,,,MARYLAND=LOSERS

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