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Marylanders For Marriage Equality's Josh Levin On Obama's Boost To State's Gay Marriage Vote

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MARTIN OMALLEY
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley testifies in support of a same-sex marriage bill during a committee hearing in Annapolis, Md. | AP

The campaign manager of Marylanders for Marriage Equality is confident but cautious about recent polls that have shown voters could affirm marriage equality in the state, one of four (Maryland, Washington State, Minnesota, and Maine) which are voting on gay marriage at the polls next month. And Josh Levin attributes much of the rise in the polls to President Obama coming out for marriage equality.

“Back in April, things did look okay,” he said, after Governor O’Malley signed a bill that would grant marriage rights for gays and lesbians in Maryland, as opponents began gathering signatures to bring the bill to the voters. “The big thing that’s happened since then of course is that the president made his support for marriage equality public. And that’s been a very big deal for us. We see here in the last few months in Maryland, the polls showing consistently, the low to mid-50s and getting up to 54 percent. and our opponents being stuck down around 40 percent and even lower in some cases.” (Listen to the full interview below)

“Now we know we’re not going to win this thing by 24 points,” he continued, in an interview on my SiriusXM OutQ radio program. “The history of our issue is we tend to lose points on Election Day. So we still expect this to be very close. The other big factor here in Maryland is that 24 percent of our voters are African-American. And we’ve seen that African-American support is getting at or over 50 percent at this point. That’s just a great sign for us. The president helped, our partnership with the NAACP here in the state, lots of other factors, our work with African-American leaders who are with us, have all been a a part of that.”

The group has launched a new initiative to encourage people to go door-to-door between now and Election Day.

“We just launched a million conversation initiative here Maryland,” he said. “A million conversations in one month trying to get all of our supporters to go out and talk to people in the state about why this is an important issue to them. We’re hoping people around the country might get involved too, making calls to people in Maryland, or sending a message. Get involved, whether with a contribution or volunteering with us to get the word out.”

Listen to the full interview below:

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