The more Marylanders hear about efforts to redefine marriage, the more they are saying no. Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies yesterday released a poll which showed an eight percentage point swing against same-sex marriage since its last poll was taken in January, just as Maryland’s General Assembly was beginning its effort to push through a same-sex marriage bill.
Yesterday’s poll indicated that 49% of registered voters opposed redefining marriage, up from 44% in January. Those respondents supporting same-sex marriage dropped from 51% to 48% during the same time period.
Further, the poll asks whether respondents support allowing same-sex couples to marry in order to give them “the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples in areas such as tax exemptions, inheritance and pension coverage.” What the poll did not measure is whether respondents would support redefining marriage if they were aware of the fact that same-sex couples already receive such benefits, including state employee health benefits, exemptions from recordation taxes and state inheritance taxes, and many more.
It is not necessary to redefine marriage in order to grant other couples certain civil rights. Stripping marriage of its unique connection to parenthood erases from law the right of a child to a mother and a father, and ignores an essential question of why government elevates their relationship over all other relationships.
We continue to urge members of the Maryland General Assembly not to allow this issue to be driven by partisan politics, and to give full and fair consideration to the legitimate reasons why a majority of Marylanders believe our state should maintain its recognition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
(Maryland Catholic Conference advocates for the Church's public policy positions before the Maryland General Assembly and other civil officials. The Conference represents all three dioceses with territory in the state – the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.)
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