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Age, Same-Sex Marriage and Maryland

The younger you are, the more likely you are to support same-sex marriage. What does this mean for Maryland?

Based on Maryland's age distribution and a changing national attitude on same sex marriage, one could expect–surprise–a close referendum fight in November.

Earlier this week, you may have read that increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage is not the result of a nationwide change of heart, but  

A study by the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life found that the increase of acceptance for same-sex marriage is the result of changing, aging demographics and "generational replacement," defined by Pew as "the arrival of younger, more supportive generations making up a larger share of the population."

Nationally, 48 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, up from 35 percent in 2001, according to Pew. Among those born after 1981, the so-called millenial generation, 63 percent support same-sex marriage. Fifty-two percent of generation X-ers support gay marriage. Support drops precipitously from there. Only a third of their silent-generation grandparents do, and only 41 percent of the baby boomer parents of most millenials support same-sex marriage.

So, what does this mean for Maryland's upcoming referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage?

Well, consider that the bell curve of the voting age population in Maryland heavily skews towards a younger population. The Census Bureau tabulates ages in five-year ranges that don't exactly match up with the generational cohorts used by Pew's statisticians, but it is close enough for approximation. 

With that in mind, note that 41.7 percent of Maryland's population fell between the ages of 20 and 49, roughly corresponding to the millenial and generation-X cohorts, the two cohorts most likely to support same-sex marriage. 

Baby boomers and their silent-generation parents, cohorts significantly more conservative on same-sex marriage, make up only 31.9 percent of the state's population. 

But, of course, the only important number is how many people in the respective generations actually vote. 

In 2008, Maryland's millenials made up more than 20 percent of the state's population but only accounted for 17 percent of its registered voters, according to a fact sheet from the Center for Information and Research on Civil Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). Of those youngest registered voters, only 56 percent voted in the 2008 presidential election, up 6 points from 2004. 

Baby boomers and the elderly tend to turn out in much greater numbers. State level data is hard to come by, but according to the Census Bureau's 2008 Voting Hot Report, more than 60 percent of voters aged 50 and up voted in the last presidential election.

Based on those statistics, we're back where we started: A close vote.

Abba Gutuu Terressa October 25, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Homosexuality is a subjective issue unlike a subject that deals with pure science. What would you like me to avoid in commenting on this website? Thanks.
Abba Gutuu Terressa October 25, 2012 at 12:50 AM
@PerryHallParent You said " I don't believe it's my right to prevent others from doing as they wish and having access to rights, benefits and property. Just because it's something that I don't practice or totally understand, doesn't mean that they should be denied the right to do so." I agree that it is good to respect individual choices. It is also advisable to respect a person irrespective of his/her sexual preference, or/and world outlook. Can't we love, respect, have friendship with homosexuals without redefining marriage? I think we can do so.
Abba Gutuu Terressa October 30, 2012 at 09:47 PM
“By redefining marriage to include same sex couples we are playing with sexual and societal fire. Just as the entitlement state passes on the cost of our good intentions to our children and grandchildren - unsustainable dependency and debt — so, too, same-sex marriage will pass along the consequences of our good intentions to our children and grandchildren - gender confusion and the loss of motherhood and fatherhood as values, just to cite two obvious consequences. It is not enough to mean well in life. One must also do well. And the two are frequently not the same thing. There are reasons no moral thinker in history ever advocated same-sex marriage.” To read more, go to: http://jewishworldreview.com/1012/prager103012.php3#.UJBGp3VZXNI
Michael Theis October 31, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Stop spamming the board with copypasta. If you want to say something, say it in your own words. This is your first and last warning.
Abba Gutuu Terressa October 31, 2012 at 09:20 PM
@Michael Theis I thought posting an excerpt with a full acknowledgment of its sources cannot be considered a spamming. Even if I don’t understand your reasoning behind this first and last warning, knowing your standard is helpful to me to make further comments if I get time and an interesting article on patch. After reading the comments made by those who support and oppose SSM on this website, I couldn’t figure out a reason why Tworeti’s comments were characterized as ‘misleading, inaccurate or false’. I am not implying that you might have made a mistake. Since we are dealing with subjective stuff on this website, what standard (s) should I apply in order to avoid what you or a person consider(s) as misleading, inaccurate or false statements? I see good people on both sides of this issue. What one considers as accurate the other one considers as inaccurate, misleading or false. Does patch have a fixed standard by which it could evaluate whether or not a comment is misleading, inaccurate or false? Thanks for letting me know your standard regarding spamming. I believe in a freedom of expressions with adherence to a standard set by a website etc.

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