Maryland could become one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot box, a new poll by the Washington Post suggests.
The survey found that 52% of Maryland's likely voters support Question 6, the “Civil Marriage Protection Act,” which would allow marriage licenses to be provided to same-sex couples. The measure is opposed by 43% and 5% had no opinion. The act stipulates that religious clergy or leaders will not be forced to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.
Although same-sex marriage is legal in six states (New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia), it has yet to be legalized by a ballot initiative. Thirty-two states have voted on initiatives since 1998 and all have opposed gay marriage.
Maryland voters aren’t alone in deciding on the issue this year; Maine and Washington state are asking voters to weigh in on Nov. 6. Maine voters, in a poll conducted last month, favor the measure, 52% to 44%, as do voters in Washington, 56% to 38%. In Minnesota, voters will be asked whether they want to ban same-sex marriage.