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New Poll Shows Support for Marriage Remains Strong

PORTLAND – Almost one month after Maine began allowing same-sex couples to marry, a recent survey shows that a majority of voters remain solidly supportive of the new law and that the vast majority of Mainers have felt no negative impact.

Public Policy Polling, in a survey conducted Jan. 18-20, found that 53 percent of Maine voters think marriage for same-sex couples should be allowed while only 43 percent think it should not. Despite the overhyped predictions of opponents of marriage, the vast majority of voters have seen no negative effects from the new law.

“Seventy-eight percent of Maine voters – including a majority of people who voted against it in November – say that gay marriage being legal in the state is not having an adverse impact on their lives,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, in a press release on Friday. “For all the debate over the years, it’s turning out not to be a big deal for the vast majority of voters in the state.”

Maine’s freedom to marry law took affect on Dec. 29. Since that time, hundreds of same-sex couples have received marriage licenses from the state and have gotten married.

“We’ve seen support for marriage continue to grow as more and more loving and committed couples have married,” said Betsy Smith, executive director of EqualityMaine. “Starting on that first night, the joy of marriage has spread to hundreds of families who have been waiting, in some cases for decades, for the chance to say ‘I do’ and accept the joy and responsibility that comes from being married.”

Implementation of the new law has gone well.

“Local and state governmental officials have helped to make sure the new law has been implemented smoothly and that same-sex couples have been able to receive marriage licenses quickly and easily,” said Lee Swislow, executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. “Opponents of marriage have used horror stories to scare people away from marriage for years. But time and time again, the things they predict don’t happen. An overwhelming majority of Maine voters, even some of those who might have voted against marriage, now know for sure that allowing loving, committed same-sex couples to marry doesn’t hurt anyone else.”

For more information about Maine’s marriage laws, visit http://www.glad.org or www.equalitymaine.org.