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Half of Marylanders support gay marriage

Jan. 31, 2012 at 2:04 AM

ANNAPOLIS, Md., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Half of Maryland residents say same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, while 45 percent disagree, a poll released Monday indicated.

The Washington Post poll found a sharp racial divide in attitudes on same-sex marriage. While 71 percent of whites support it and 24 percent do not, more than half, 53 percent, of blacks are opposed and 41 percent support it.

Religiously observant people are far more likely than others to oppose gay marriage. Poll respondents who support it tend to cite the views of their friends and their personal experience as shaping their views, while opponents tend to cite religious reasons.

The Maryland Senate passed a bill last year legalizing same-sex marriage but it failed to win passage in the House of Delegates. Similar legislation has been introduced this year.

Same-sex couples can marry in six states and the District of Columbia. In California, couples who took advantage of the brief period when same-sex marriage was legal are legally married there.

The poll surveyed 1,064 adults from Jan. 23-26. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.

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