November 1, 2012
By Jacob Combs
Yesterday, I wrote about a new Baltimore Sun poll showing a dramatic decrease in support for Question 6, the marriage equality initiative in Maryland. Also yesterday, a Goucher College poll was released that found a confusingly contradictory result from the Sun poll, with 55 percent of respondents supporting the measure and 39 percent opposed. Five percent had no answer and the margin of error was 3.79 points. The Sun poll was conducted from October 20-23, and the Goucher poll from October 21-25. Importantly, the Goucher poll did not include any likely voter screen, meaning that its results are probably not all that indicative of the support that we can expect for Question 6 next week.
On a conference call with journalists yesterday, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley said that the campaign for Question 6 still needs to raise around $400,000 to push through until election day. Marylanders for Marriage Equality has raised around $3.3 million so far, much more than the anti-marriage equality side. O’Malley told participants on the call that, with one week to go, the campaign is “in good shape.”
This Tuesday, the Baltimore Sun published an editorial in favor of Question 6, urging its passage and writing that opponents of the initiative “have sougt to confuse the issue by warning of unintended consequences of marriage equality,” calling their efforts “scare tactics.” In its endorsement, the Sun wrote:
The case for Question 6, which would affirm Maryland’s law authorizing same-sex marriage, is simple. It upholds the principle that the law should treat everyone the same. Marriage is both a religious and a civil institution. Churches, synagogues and mosques have always set their own rules about which marriages they recognize, and this law does not change that fact. What it does is to ensure that no Marylander faces discrimination under the law when it comes to one of the state’s fundamental institutions.
Gay marriage has failed so far in every state, 32 so far, where it has appeared on the ballot. That string of defeats will be broken as public opinion shifts. The issue will be tested again next week by referendums in Maine, Minnesota and Washington state, in addition to Maryland’s vote. The tide of history is clear; the main question now is the tempo of change. Marylanders should take pride if they put themselves at the forefront of the move toward fairness.