Poll: Mainers accept gay marriage

Posted Wednesday, September 4, 2013 in News

Poll: Mainers accept gay marriage

by Gina Hamilton

BELFAST -- A new poll indicates that Mainers’ acceptance of same-sex marriage has increased significantly since the November vote, according to a recent Public Policy Poll.

In November, 47 percent voted against gay marriage.  Now, the number opposed to gay marriage has fallen to 38 percent, according to the poll, which was released last week.

“That may be because most voters don’t think gay marriage being legal has been a big deal,” the Public Policy Polling pollsters posited. “Only 20 percent say it’s had a negative impact on their lives, with 18 percent saying it’s been positive and 62 percent that there hasn’t been any impact at all.”

While Public Policy Polling tends to poll more Democrats than Republicans, they were the most accuate poll in the 2012 election cycle. 

Predictably, people who oppose gay marriage don't accept the results.  Carroll Conley Jr., executive director of the Christian Civic League, said that has received emails from people who are worried that their strongly-held beliefs against gay marriage, religious or otherwise, will be disregarded because of the new law. Conley said this week he heard from two people who don't want to do work for same-sex couples, but fear that under the law, they may be forced to do so.

Still, same-sex marriage supporters say that their marriages should be accorded the same rights as anyone else's.  "It doesn't matter what your religious beliefs are," said Sandy Allen, who recently married at Old Orchard Beach. "You wouldn't be able to refuse to marry us if we were African American or Hispanic, so why should you legally be able to discriminate against us because we are a lesbian couple?"

The courts seem to agree with that sentiment. A decision made last week by the New Mexico Supreme Court that a photographer’s choice not to shoot a same-sex commitment ceremony amounted to illegal discrimination.

And also last week, the IRS determined that any couple legally married, anywhere in the country, can file joint tax returns, even if the state in which they live does not recognize their marriage.

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