Early polling in Oregon shows plurality of voters voters support same-sex marriage ahead of planned 2014 ballot initiative
May 2, 2013
By Scottie Thomaston
Voters in Oregon favor marriage equality, though the number is still below 50 percent. 49 percent are supportive, with 42 percent in opposition. Oregon’s constitution was amended in 2004 to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples only, and there will be an effort in 2014 to repeal that amendment and replace it with one permitting same-sex couples to marry. As Daily Kos pointed out, the 2014 initiative is 18 months away, and voters were asked if they favor “changing the Oregon constitution” – a formulation that could make some people uncomfortable.
A significant majority of voters aged 18-34 support marriage equality: a solid 67 percent are in favor. The poll also found 9 percent of voters are undecided on the question.
These latest numbers are similar to a poll from Public Policy Polling which showed 54 percent of Oregon voters think same-sex marriage should be allowed in the state, and it comes mere days after a federal judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Oregon’s anti-gay marriage amendment (along with the federal DOMA) is unconstitutional. As EqualityOnTrial reported at the time, the ruling isn’t the same as a Ninth Circuit panel ruling: it’s an unpublished opinion handed down by a Ninth Circuit judge in his administrative capacity. Although it only applies to the parties involved in that case, the ruling is a strong statement in support of legal equality for same-sex couples.
These developments followed a failed attempt in an initial fight by marriage equality opponents in early April to change the language of the 2014 initiative’s title. Marriage equality supporters in the state are collecting signatures for the initiative.