Voters in Maryland, Maine and Washington state may be among the first ever to legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot box, as recent polling suggests marriage equality bills gaining support leading up to the November general election.
In Washington state, a new SurveyUSA poll for KING-TV indicated that more than half of respondents said they support the marriage equality law passed early this year by the legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire on Feb. 13.
The poll found support for Referendum 74 leading by a 15 point margin — 55-40 percent — with just 6 percent undecided, reported KING-TV.
In Maine, a new poll by Critical Insights reports that the ballot initiative to overturn the state’s current ban on same-sex marriage is currently poised to pass in November.
The poll suggests support at 57 percent in favor of overturning the ban, 36 percent against, and 7 percent undecided. Support for the measure is particularly strong among Democrats (81 percent), college grads (69 percent), and 18-to-34-years-old (77 percent).
And in Maryland, similar results from a WTOP/Beltway Poll finds that six in 10 Maryland residents would vote for allowing gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license. About a third, 34 percent, would vote against the measure.
A more narrow margin was reported late last month by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies, whose poll reported that 51 percent of voters said they will vote to uphold the state’s same-sex marriage law, while 43 percent said they will vote against it. Six percent were undecided.
Similar to Washington state, earlier this year the Maryland legislature voted to legalize same-sex marriage; the law was signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley, but opponents are seeking to overturn the law before it is scheduled to take effect in January.
To date, no state in the U.S. has ever voted in favor of same-sex marriage.
Also in November, voters in Minnesota will decide on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.