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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 17, 2011 Maryland Poll N = 600 Registered Voters January 27 – February 7, 2011 CONTACT: Dr. Gary C. Lawrence firstname.lastname@example.org 714 558 3725
NEW POLL: MAJORITY OF MARYLAND VOTERS BELIEVE MARRIAGE IS ONLY ONE MAN-ONE WOMAN By a 54-37 margin, Maryland voters believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, according to a new poll released today by Lawrence Research. The poll, commissioned by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), also found that 78% of the state’s voters believe the voters of Maryland, rather than the legislature (14%), should have the final word on the issue of whether or not to legalize same-sex marriage. The state legislature is currently considering legislation to change the legal definition of marriage in Maryland from “a man and a woman” to “any two adults.” Supporters of traditional marriage, including NOM, the Maryland Catholic Conference, and the Association of Maryland Families, have vowed to put this proposal before the voters via Maryland’s referendum process if passed by the General Assembly. The findings of the poll indicate strong voter support for a referendum on this issue. “The results of this poll strongly affirm that we are on the right side of Maryland voters,” said Brian Brown, President of NOM. “Not only do voters support marriage by a 17-point margin, but they reject the Legislature’s efforts to impose this without public input. We’ll continue to fight to block the current legislation push in the General Assembly, but this poll shows beyond any doubt that despite what the legislature does, the people will have the final say, and they will support marriage.” Added Derek McCoy, President of the Maryland Family Alliance, “Voters in 31 states have considered the marriage issue, and in every case they have rejected gay marriage and reaffirmed their support of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. If the General Assembly passes this legislation, we are
confident that Maryland will become the 32nd state to preserve traditional marriage.” Another poll conducted in January claimed that Maryland voters favor same-sex marriage by a 51-44 margin, but used the phrase “giving them the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples in areas such as tax exemptions, inheritance and pension coverage.” According to Dr. Gary Lawrence of Lawrence Research, the addition of this pro-legalization argument – couching the legalization of same-sex marriage as only about granting rights and benefits to gay couples – without a counter-balancing statement from the opposing side injects a bias into those results. Methodology Lawrence Research based in Orange County, California conducted this poll using random digit dialing to reach and complete interviews with 600 selfidentified registered voters. Interviews were conducted January 27 through February 7, 2010. Statistically speaking, 95 times out of 100 the margin of error for a sample of this size is ± 4.1 percentage points for mid-range (40% to 60%) results. The margin of error is smaller for results larger than 60% and lower than 40%. Gary Lawrence, the president of Lawrence Research, holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and this month celebrates his 43rd year as a national pollster. Question wording: “As far as you personally are concerned, should marriage be between a man and a woman, or should it also be available to same-sex couples?” “As you may have heard, some legislators want to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland and others want to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman. As far as you are concerned, is this an issue that should be decided by the state legislature, or is this something that should be decided by the voters?” ***