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New poll shows Marylanders split on same-sex marriage

An independent poll released this morning by OpinionWorks shows a narrow majority of Marylanders want to repeal the new same-sex marriage bill.

The poll shows 40 percent support same-sex marriage and 43 percent do not. There is a four percent margin for error, according to Steve Raabe, President of OpinionWorks.

“Although this result is within the poll’s margin of error, it is the intensity of feeling among same-sex marriage opponents that causes the overall result to lean slightly towards repeal,” Raabe said in a statement.

He found that 37% of those polled “strongly” want to repeal the same-sex marriage law. Thirty-one percent feel "strongly" that same-sex marriage should be legal, Raabe said.

Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, successfully pushed a measure to legalize same-sex marriage this year. He has signed the bill into law, but it does not take effect until January 2013. Meanwhile, opponents have pledged to petition the law to the November ballot and overturn it on referendum.

The new poll is similar to independent surveys by Gonzales and the Washington Post which both showed Marylanders nearly evenly split on the issue. A Public Policy Poll released by supporters showed a 52-44 split in favor of the marriage bill, by far the rosiest result to date.

Raabe polled 601 Marylanders from March 16 to March 19. He also released a geographical/demographic breakdown that showed:

* Fifty-eight percent of those who attend church once a week want same-sex marriage repealed
* Sixty-six percent of those who don't attend church support same-sex marriage
* Baltimore city residents favor repeal of same-sex marriage with 49 percent opposing the law and 35 percent supporting it
* Montgomery County is the most friendly in the state to same-sex marriage with 58 percent supporting the law
* The Eastern Shore is the least supportive of same-sex marriage, with 72 percent wanting the law repealed * Women are far more likely to support gay marriage than men; with 47 percent of females supporting the law and 33 percent of men supporting it.


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