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Utah Sees Small Shifts On Marriage Equality, Civil Unions


There are two ways to look at a new poll about Utah voters' opinions on marriage equality, civil unions and general legal recognition for same-sex couples.

One view  is that 72% of the state still opposes gay marriage and that 57% oppose civil unions.* The other, more positive view is that opposition to equality has dropped seven points since 2004 (said even more positively, support for equality has risen seven points); support for civil unions has jumped from 25% to 43% — 18 points; and support for some kind of legal recognition, whether it be civil unions or marriage, jumped from 46% to 71%, according to a survey conducted by Brigham Young University's Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy.

And it seems support has grown across all political demographics:

The increase in support for civil unions in Utah can be seen across several groups. In 2004, only 23% of Utah Republicans and 27% of Independents were in favor of civil unions. Now, 53% of Republicans and 48% of Independents express support. Furthermore, among both of those groups, opposition to any legal recognition of gay relationships has declined.

Among Democratic voters, support for civil unions has declined as voters move toward support of gay marriage. In 2004, 31% of Democrats were in favor of civil unions while 55% supported gay marriage. Now, only a quarter of Democrats prefer civil unions while 72% favor gay marriage.

But, back to the negative real quick: as in years past, GOP support for marriage equality is in the single digits: 5%. The religious breakdown is equally grim.

I've included some of the Center's graphs AFTER THE JUMP — the images pop-out for easier read — but do take a look at the entire study.

*Good point in comments re: assuming the marriage people oppose civil unions. Many would prefer civil unions to nothing, surely, although perhaps not all.



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  1. "57% oppose civil unions" -- Not really. In order to say this, one must presume that the 28% who are in favor of marriage equality are "opposed" to civil unions, which is unlikely to be the case.

    The REAL stat here is that 71% of the people in Utah support legal recognition of gay relationships. That is HUGE.

    Posted by: TC | Jul 10, 2012 10:20:28 AM

  2. Sounds promising... but once *any* legislation promising some kind of recognition for LGBT couples appears, the LDS church will mount a campaign to completely destroy such legislation - and numbers won't mean a damn thing.

    Posted by: Oz in OK | Jul 10, 2012 10:29:10 AM

  3. Hey, at least among republicans, the percentage opposing any recognition went from 72% in Nov. 2004 down to 42% in Feb. 2012. That's a big change, and a promising one at that.

    Posted by: Anthony | Jul 10, 2012 11:04:19 AM

  4. Although I find it sad that while democrats and independents' support for marriage have gone up over the years, the GOP won't budge. It's been at 5 percent for the past 8 years. Things have got to change.

    Posted by: Anthony | Jul 10, 2012 11:07:48 AM

  5. Wow, Utah democrats are really very gay-friendly. A whopping 97% of them support legal recognition of gay relationships, and 72% support gay marriage.

    Posted by: Peter M. | Jul 10, 2012 11:16:47 AM

  6. Read the original article, it's all fake.

    Posted by: Thomas Alex | Jul 10, 2012 12:29:34 PM

  7. Watch the Benji Schwimmer interview, posted on this site a month or so ago. Gay Mormon kids are a screwed-up population & I now understand why they kill themselves in such large numbers. Their options : closet, married-but-in-misery, or suicide. The Mormon religion is incompatible w being out & emotionally stable.

    That BYU student It Gets Better video is very sad. They all look like walking wounded,their coping skills being maxed out.

    Organized religion is, in general, bad for ones health but Mormonism is terminal cancer.

    Posted by: mike flower | Jul 10, 2012 2:24:09 PM

  8. I wish they disclosed more polling information. Sample size, margin of error, degree of randomness in sampling (was it state-wide or specific to a location?), method of sampling (in-person, on phone, online) all have a huge impact on results.

    Posted by: Ari | Jul 10, 2012 9:06:43 PM

  9. You gotta laugh when you realize that the state of Utah was denied entry into the Union until they outlawed plural marriage, which is supported in the bible. Fortunately god told their leader that he no longer approved of plural marriage so they outlawed it and were accepted into the union. All of this must have left Abraham, the polygamist and Father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam spinning in his grave.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 10, 2012 10:44:36 PM

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