The State of Maryland may soon legalize same-sex marriage. Earlier this year the state legislature passed a new law allowing same-sex marriage but it won’t go into effect unless the voters of the state reject a veto referendum put on the ballot by opponents. A poll released by Marylanders for Marriage Equality indicates the electorate is planning to vote to allow same-sex marriage to go forward in their state. The poll conducted by Hart Research found 54 percent support marriage equality, while just 40 percent oppose it.

At least part of the strong showing for marriage equality has come from a growing acceptance by Maryland’s large African-American community. According to the pollsters: “In the subgroup analysis of the referendum vote, support for the referendum has increased among both white and African-American voters.  White voters went from favoring the referendum by 11 points in March (53% to 42%) to favoring it by 13 points today (54% to 41%); African-American voters  went from opposing the referendum by nine points (40% to 49%) to being evenly divided between support and opposition today (44% to 45%).”

It appears President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality in May of this year played at least a modest role creating more acceptance for marriage equality in the African-American community. This same pattern has also been found in several other state polls on the issue.

Given that this poll comes from a campaign it should be taken with a grain of salt, but it it is in line with other independent polling. A PPP survey from late May found 57 percent in support of the new marriage law and just 37 percent planning to vote to overturn it.

There is a very good chance that 2012 will finally be the year marriage equality wins at the ballot. The rapid change in public opinion on the issue over the last decade has been truly remarkable.