January 9, 2014
The Washington Blade is reporting that a new poll shows a 13 point increase in support for marriage equality in Utah, though a majority of Utahns are still in opposition. According to the results, 41% back same-sex marriage, while 24% back civil unions, and 31% say there should be no legal recognition for same-sex couples.
The poll was conducted after the federal district court’s ruling declaring Utah’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but before the stay was put in place. The shift could signal a change in the way people think of relationship recognition for same-sex couples following the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision:
The 13-point jump in the more recent survey compared to the most recent BYU poll reveals that new support for marriage equality came entirely from those who previously supported only civil unions. Opposition to marriage equality also grew from 29 percent to 31 percent.
Baker said he thinks the poll demonstrates a shift in opinion among Utah voters to support same-sex marriage following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June against Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.
“A 13-point bump signifies that Utah voters realize the world hasn’t ended with the repeal of DOMA and recognizing same-sex marriages is the right thing to do,” Baker said.
According to the report, these Google polls are considered accurate by polling experts, and basically track the rapid shift in public opinion across the country on the issue of marriage equality:
Google consumer surveys are deemed accurate by statistics experts. As Baker notes in his blog posting in which he published the poll results, statistics guru Nate Silver ranked them second overall in terms of reliability and lack of bias during the 2012 presidential election.
Scott Barclay, a senior scholar in public policy at the Williams Institute at University of California, Los Angeles, said the new poll is consistent with earlier public opinion estimates on rising support for marriage equality throughout the states.
“Support for marriage equality generally has been consistently rising in the last 20 years, but current research at the Williams Institute finds that the rate of support for marriage equality at both the national level and within almost all states appears to be increasing much more rapidly in the last four years than at any previous point in time,” Barclay said.
The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the Utah case soon; the first brief is due on January 27.
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