Polling in Maryland shows growth in support among black voters

Hart Research Associates published a new poll today out of Maryland that finds majority support for the freedom to marry, with significant growth among black voters. In November, Marylanders will be asked at the ballot to uphold or overturn the state's freedom to marry law, which was signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley in March.  

54 percent of voters surveyed in the poll said they would vote to uphold the freedom to marry at the ballot in November, and 40 percent said they would elect to overturn the law. The last time Hart Research Associates polled on marriage in Maryland was in March, when support for the marriage law led 51 percent in favor to 43 percent against. 

The poll also tracked significant growth among black voters' support for marriage for same-sex couples. 44 percent of African-Americans said they would vote in favor of marriage at the ballot, while 45 percent said they would vote against it - but that's an improvement since March, when 40 percent said they would affirm the law and 49 percent said they would reject the law. 

In May, a national poll found that 53 percent of black Americans nationwide say they support the freedom to marry. This growth in public opinion polls demonstrates the power of people speaking out about why marriage matters and why all couples deserve the freedom to marry. In May, our founder and President Evan Wolfson responded to the poll about the majority of black voters saying they support marriage. He said:

It's particularly gratifying to see the growing support among African-Americans who, like the President and the NAACP, understand that the Golden Rule and our nation's civil rights commitment of liberty and justice for all really do apply to 'all.' The toxic tactics of anti-gay forces to, in their own words, 'drive a wedge between blacks and gays' has backfired, and support for the freedom to marry now has a majority among those who know all too well what discrimination, including discrimination in marriage, looks and feels like.   

Today's Maryland poll also finds a growth in intensity among potential voters in favor of the marriage law. The report reads:

Strong "FOR" support is now 43%, strong "AGAINST" is 35% - an eight-point advantage for marriage equality. Previous polling, even those finding marriage equality with a lead, show a more EVEN divide between strongly FOR and strong AGAINST voters - in March of this year it was 39% strongly for, 38% strongly against. 

This latest survey is consistent with a Public Policy Polling report from May 2012, in which 57 percent of Marylanders surveyed said they would uphold the freedom to marry, with 37 percent saying they would vote against marriage for all couples.

Learn more about what's going on with marriage in Maryland and check out more information about the latest Maryland poll here.