POLL: Numbers Shift, Not In A Good Way, In MD Marriage-Equality Battle

The L.A. Times is reporting that support for marriage equality in Maryland—where residents will vote on the issue next week—is slipping, especially among African-Americans.

A poll conducted in late September for the Baltimore Sun showed the measure to legalize same-sex marriage ahead by 10 percentage points, with more than 50% of African Americans supporting the idea despite a history of opposition from black churches. A quarter of black respondents were opposed.

Since then, voters in Maryland have been exposed to a media blitz, with both sides airing TV ads in an effort to swing undecided voters their way. The latest polling for the Sun, conducted Oct. 20-23 by  OpinionWorks, now shows 50% of black voters against same-sex marriage, with 42% supporting the idea.

What’s caused the shift? Well, black pastors have stepped up their attacks on same-sex marriage since then, charging their parishioners to follow God’s dictate and vote the measure down. And opponents of same-sex marriage have launched a media blitz that misrepresents the issues—suggesting, among other things, that religious leaders will be forced to perform gay ceremonies, and that children will be indoctrinated in schools.