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.