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Same-sex marriage (SSM) in Maine

2012-MAR to now: Maine polls
measuring support of & opposition to SSM

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In this section, "SSM" refers to "same-sex marriage, and
"LGBT" refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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This topic is a continuation from the previous essay

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2012-MAR-02 to 04: Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey concerning SSM:

PPP of Raleigh, NC conducted a telephone survey among 1,256 Maine voters. The margin of error for the survey is ~+mn~ 2.8 percentage points. 6 They asked two questions about SSM: one related to the upcoming referendum and one general query.

After asking six questions related to their opinion of state politicians, they asked:

  • Question 8: "Do you favor a law allowing marriage licenses for same-sex couples that protects religious freedom by ensuring no religion or clergy be required to perform such marriage in violation of their religious beliefs?" This is a duplicate of the question to be asked on the referendum on election day in 2012-NOV.

    Results were:
    • Yes: 47% for a margin of 15 percentage points
    • No: 32%
    • Not sure or didn't answer: 21%

  • Question 9: In general, do you think same-sex marriage should be legal or illegal:

    Results were:
    • Legal: 54% for a margin of 13 percentage points.
    • Illegal 41%
    • Not sure or didn't answer: 5%

Some religious and social conservatives have objected to questions like #9. They felt that the term "illegal" would seem to imply some sort of criminal act. They suggest that many persons would wish to make SSMs unavailable but might hesitate to ask that they be made illegal. Thus, more respondents would answer "Yes" than if neutral terms like "available" and "not available" were used.

Gene Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling said:

"It looks like Maine will reverse its 2009 vote on gay marriage this fall. That's symbolic of the shift in plublic opinion that's occurred [nationally] on this issue over the last few years."

Staff at LGBTQNation™ compared this poll with earlier ones and commented:

"The poll indicates that Democrats’ support for same-sex marriage has increased slightly, from 71 percent to 78 percent, and that Independents have shifted from voting against marriage equality 52-46 percent, to supporting it by a 57-36 margin. ... if approved by voters, Maine could become the first state to approve same-sex marriage through a popular vote."

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2012-JUN-06: CNN/ORC International released results of national poll concerning SSM:

The poll involved 1,009 adults randomly selected across the nation. 756 were conducted by land line; 253 by cell phone. The sampling error is ~+mn~ 3 percentage points.

The respondents were asked the question: "Do you think marriages between gay and lesbian couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?"

Results of polls taken during 2008-JUN and 2012-MAY showed that most American adults support SSM with a margin of 12 percentage points:

Date 2008-JUN 2012-MAY
Favored SSM
Opposed SSM
No opinion

Over a four year interval, support for SSM has risen 10 percentage points; opposition has dropped 11 percentage points. This is a rate of about ~+mn~ 2.3 percentage points a year in each direction. A rate of change of this magnitude is unusually large. The previous redefinition of marriage occurred during the second half of the 20th century with a much more gradual shift in favor of permitting interracial marriage. That shift averaged only about 1 percentage point per year between 1948 and 1991. More information.

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2012-MAR-31 to APR-02: Maine People's Resource Center (MPRC) public opinion survey:

MPRC surveyed 993 registered main voters in likely voter households producing a margin of error of ~+mn~3.1 percentage points. 4

They asked: "Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose allowing same-sex couples to be legally married in Maine?

Results were:

  • Favored SSM: 58.2% (43.7% strongly; 14.5 somewhat). The margin is 18.3 percentage points.
  • Opposed SSM: 39.9% (28.2% strongly; 11.7% somewhat)
  • Didn't answer or didn't know: 2.0%

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2012-JUN-13 & 14: MassINC Polling Groups measures support & opposition to SSM in Maine:

WBUR, a National Public Radio (NPR) radio station in Boston MA sponsored the poll. 5 A total of 506 randomly selected adults adults who are likely voters in the 2012-NOV election were interviewed, via landline and cell phones. This gives a margin of error of ~+mn~4.4 percentage points, with the usual 95% level of confidence.

The question asked was: "

"Do you favor a law allowing marriage licenses for same-sex couples that protects religious freedom by ensuring no religion or clergy be required to perform such a marriage in violation of their religious beliefs?

Answers were:

  • Favored SSM: 55% for a margin of 19 percentage points.
  • Opposed SSM: 36%
  • Didn't answer or didn't know: 9%

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Site navigation:

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Gay marriage petition," video. WGNE-13 news, 2012-FEB-23, at:
  2. Jason McLure, "Maine gets enought support for gay marriage referendum," Reuters, 2012-FEB-24, at:
  3. Gary J. Gates & Abigail M. Cooke, "Maine Census Snapsot: 2010," The Williams Institute, at: This is a PDF file.
  4. "Public Opinion Survey," Maine People's Resource Center, 2012-APR, at:  This is a PDF file.
  5. "WBUR Main 2012 Poll,, 2012-JUN at:
  6. "Maine has voters remorse on Governor LePage," Public Policy Polling, 2012-MAR-07, at:  This is an accursed PDF file.
  7. "Poll suggests Maine voters likely to approve same-sex marriage this fall," LGBYQNation, 2012-MAR-08, at:

Copyright 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2012-MAR
Latest update: 2012-JUN-19
Author: B.A. Robinson

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