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Slim plurality of Ohioans support marriage equality

Marriage equality

By Scottie Thomaston

A new Quinnipiac poll released today shows a shift in Ohioans’ support of marriage equality. Now, 48% are supportive of same-sex marriage while only 44% are opposed. Only several months ago, in December, more Ohioans opposed marriage equality (47%) than supported it (45%). The poll suggests that a majority of women in the state support it, and a majority of men are in opposition.

Ohio’s marriage equality ban could be headed to the ballot in an attempt to replace it with a measure allowing same-sex marriage. In March, another poll showed that 54% of Ohioans would support the initiative.

69% of Ohio Republicans oppose marriage equality. But independents in Ohio are in support 47-44%. Ohioans aged 18-34 strongly support same-sex marriage, with only 27% of that age group in opposition. Catholics in Ohio are supportive, 49-43%.

Unsurprisingly, the poll did have some bad news for Senator Rob Portman: he has lost some Republican support after announcing that he is now in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples. The Columbus Dispatch notes:

[…][S]ince Portman’s announcement, the number of Republicans who disapprove of his job as senator jumped by 13 percentage points, while 41 percent of GOP voters polled said they think less favorably of the junior Republican senator from suburban Cincinnati.
[…]
The movement in (Portman’s) numbers has not been massive and the overall movement towards acceptance of same-sex marriage, which we see in Ohio and elsewhere, could help him in the long run, especially if he seeks reelection four years from now, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the polling institute.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision in the Prop 8 case Hollingsworth v. Perry in late June, and while the Court could issue a broad decision that affects all 50 states, including Ohio, the general consensus after oral arguments on March 26 is that if Prop 8 is struck down at all, the decision will be limited. The ballot initiative sponsors are required to submit a certain amount of signatures by July 3 in order to qualify for the ballot this November, and they have said they’ll have the signatures by that date. The attorney general certified the language of the ballot summary on April 3.

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