A new statewide poll conducted by Benenson Strategy Group for Freedom to Marry finds a plurality of Utahns – 49 percent to 48 percent – agree that same sex-couples should be allowed to get a state-issued marriage license. Moreover, 61 percent believe legalizing marriage for same-sex couples in Utah is inevitable and will happen in the state within the next five years. And, by a large majority (67 percent), they want the U.S. Supreme Court to settle this question once and for all.
These numbers come as the Court begins its term and meets today to consider Utah’s marriage case, Kitchen v. Herbert, along with four others, for the upcoming session.
The findings of the poll, conducted September 21 to 23 of 500 adults over 18 across the state, also show that 94 percent believe the freedom to marry will not impact their marriage, with 84 percent saying it won’t impact their family and 65 percent saying it won’t adversely impact the state.
Noting that Freedom to Marry has invested resources into Utah over the last several months in a public education campaign, Evan Wolfson, the founder and president said, “This poll shows that the people of Utah, like Americans all across the country, already support or are ready to live with the freedom to marry. Utahns, like Americans generally, believe the Supreme Court should act now and will rule in favor. Indeed, when the freedom to marry has come to states like Utah, there has been little or no real opposition or concern – even those who are less than keen know it’s coming and doesn’t affect their lives, their families, their marriages, or their community. The ‘dog that didn’t bark’ is further proof that America is ready for the freedom to marry and that it’s time for the Court to bring the country to national resolution.”
Other findings include:
- Not only does the vast majority of Utahns want the Supreme Court to take up the case, but they say so while strongly believing that the Court will ultimately rule in favor of marriage equality. And if they do rule in favor of the freedom to marry, most Utahns would be happy or not affected either way.
- More than one-in-five of those who disagree would support the freedom to marry if they knew that churches in Utah, like the LDS church, would not be required to perform or recognize marriages of gay couples. This singular piece of information brings the percent who disagree that marriage for same-sex couples should be legal in Utah down to 34 percent and would push the percent who agree up to 60 percent.
- With 70 percent of Utahns saying that they have close friends or family members who are gay or lesbian, attitudes on this issue have been evolving and are likely to continuing doing so.
“When the freedom to marry is supported by a plurality in Utah, one of our most conservative states, it demonstrates that there is an irreversible trend taking place and that this trend is accelerating at a pace not previously seen on any issue,” said Joel Benenson, founder and CEO of Benenson Strategy Group.
The polling memo can be found here.
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