A November ballot referendum aimed at legalizing same-sex marriage in Maine appears likely to pass, according to a new poll.
The poll, conducted last week by WBUR Radio, follows the indicators of recent national polls, which show increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage. The WBUR poll shows that 55 percent of voters polled favor the referendum, while only 36 percent oppose it.
The poll of 506 likely Maine voters was conducted June 13 and 14 and has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points. It also showed President Barack Obama beating Mitt Romney 48-34, driven by strong support among female voters.
In 2009, Maine’s legislature passed a marriage equality law to give same-sex couples the right to marry, but in a state-wide ballot referendum that echoed California’s Proposition 8, nearly 53 percent of Maine citizens voted against same-sex marriage, reversing the legislative decision before the law took effect.
Advocates have since gathered the required number of verified signatures to put the issue of back on the November 2012 ballot — if approved by voters, Maine could become the first state to approve same-sex marriage through a popular vote.
The WBUR poll is in line with other recent Maine polls.
In April, the Maine People’s Resource Center poll showed support for marriage equality at 58 percent, with opposition about 40 percent. In March, a Public Policy Polling (PPP) indicated support at 54 percent of voters.