Plurality of Delaware Supports Marriage Equality

Filed in National by on February 9, 2011

The results from the PPP Poll of Delaware show that a plurality of Delaware favors marriage equality. The poll was commissioned by the Delaware Right to Marry PAC.

New Poll Finds Delaware Supports Marriage Equality

NEWARK, DE: FEBRUARY 09, 2011 – A new Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by Delaware Right to Marry has found that a near-majority of Delawareans now support marriage equality. The statewide poll of 605 registered voters found that a plurality (48%) of respondents favor “Delaware allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into same-sex marriages,” while an additional 5% were “not sure.” Just 16% were “somewhat opposed,” with a further 31% “strongly opposed.” More Delawareans support same-sex marriage than oppose it.

“This breakdown of those who are ‘somewhat’ versus ‘strongly’ opposed is important as the experiences of other states, such as Massachusetts and Vermont, have shown,” says Bill Humphrey, Delaware Right to Marry’s statewide director and a Massachusetts native. “In those states, opposition to marriage equality dropped dramatically among those who were ‘somewhat opposed’ beforehand, once they saw first-hand that marriage equality really has no negative impact on their own lives…or really any impact at all. It’s time the Delaware legislature embraces equal marriage rights for all its citizens.”

The proposal that Delaware Right to Marry has put forth is based on the conservative legislation passed in New Hampshire in 2009, which provides very strong religious freedom protections for churches and other religious organization. Based on the experiences of other states that have ensured such protections, we can expect opposition to marriage equality legislation to decline as Delawareans become more familiar with the specific proposal under consideration.

Other recent polls across the region have also found similar levels of support for marriage equality in nearby states. Next-door neighbor Maryland supports marriage equality for gay couples by a margin of 51-44, according to a new poll by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies released a few days before the Delaware survey. With Maryland’s legislature poised to pass a marriage equality bill this spring, Delaware businesses stand to lose current and potential future employees to our neighbor if we do not update our own marriage statutes. Additionally, Delaware’s lucrative weddings industry along our beautiful beaches will miss a huge opportunity the longer our legislature delays.

The poll was conducted by telephone, with a sample of 605 registered voters statewide, from January 26-28. To ensure a random sample, the poll results were weighted according to standard Public Policy Polling practice to match established demographic statistics for the Delaware population on gender, race, and age. The margin of error on the poll was +/-4%. Public Policy Polling, the North Carolina-based pollster that correctly predicted the result of Delaware’s Republican Senate primary in 2010 before other pollsters, uses pre-recorded calls and a push-button response system.

A marriage equality bill has been proposed for this legislative session.

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Opinionated chemist, troublemaker, blogger on national and Delaware politics.

Comments (6)

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  1. Jefferson says:

    That is interesting and welcome news. Thanks for posting. Support for gay marriage will only rise in the coming years due to a gradual increase in support for gay rights that is occurring as a result of demographics and because once it is in place in Maryland there will be less fear of the concept in our state.

  2. WilmingtonDEDem says:

    Interesting post, Unstable Isotope… The only thing to really say is that marriage equality is long overdue. I have certainly encouraged my elected officials to support this and hope that those included in that 48% do as well. It’s simply about equal rights.

  3. jason330 says:

    That angry 31% turns up shaking their little fists at modernity time and again. They have a disproportionate influence on our politics and media culture

  4. Sally Fields says:

    This is a bunch of BS! Who was polled? Only the less than 1.5% of homosexuals in the State of Delaware no doubt! The article says it was conducted randomly but that is questionable since the organizations doing the poll have a definite gay activist agenda. What a bunch of bologna! This is deceitful and irresponsible reporting at it’s ugliest! Stop trying to manipulate the data to make your biased agenda seem normal and accepted by the majority!

  5. jason330 says:

    Could Sally’s comment be any more gay? I think I’m turning gay as I read it.

  6. I think the many respondents who opposed marriage equality would take issue with Sally’s characterization of the polling sample. My understanding is that at least ten thousand were called and 605 completed the survey; the results were then weighted to fit the state’s demographics in age, race, and gender, to make sure those were valid samples. There were definitely a lot of anti-gay people represented in the poll, but a lot more weren’t anti-gay.

    Here’s another fun fact about the poll: New Castle County was actually under-sampled. Chew that over for a while…

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