The Rachel Maddow Show | May 24, 2012
>>> the thing about rights , you're not supposed to vote on them. that's why they're called rights . when you do put them up for a vote, the majority tends to vote against them. for marriage equality , it has been put up for vote 34 times in the last 15 years and lost 33 out of 34 times. the one time it didn't lose at the ballot box , arizona, it voted again two years later and it lost. the state banned same sex marriage in the second vote. no isn't that union, none, that marriage rights have been upheld in a vote. minority rights do not farewell at the ballot box . something happened in maryland . they passed same sex marriage rights giving gay couples the legal right to get married starting january 1st of next year. before that can happen, opponents to the new law are expected to gather enough signatures to get a referendum put on the ballot in november. that's not good news if you support marriage equality because no state has ever said yes to same sex marriage. shortly before early march, ppp did a poll to see if people would vote for or against the marriage law if it does go to a referendum. the votes were pretty good. a majority of people in maryland supported the law. same sex marriage rights were ahead eight points. that was in march. they just redid that same poll a few days ago, all of a sudden in maryland , wow, something has happened. same sex marriage rights are winning not by eight points in maryland , 20 points, a 12 point swing. what happened. here's what happened. one large and very influential voting block in the state of maryland that makes up nearly 30% of the population in that state over the course of the last two months went through a massive transformation on this issue. african-american voters in maryland a couple months ago in that first poll in march were against same sex marriage rights in their state by 17 points. now, they are for same sex marriage rights by 19 points. same poll. that is a 36 point swing in two months. nothing swings 36 points in two months in american public opinion . nothing. this just does not happen.
>> for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that i think same sex couples should be able to get married.
>> when the president came out for marriage equality , everybody knew it was important and historic but nobody knew what it's practical effect would be. that's what was important, he made this pronouncement without political certainty what would happen as a result. that was a big deal . now, we starting to see the results. it's not counting up who agreed with him already and who disagreed and how this while change their opinion and likelihood to vote. he is changing people's minds. what this means for the country yet we do not know. in the state of maryland , we can count overtly how much of a quantitative difference that decision by the president has just made.