Saturday, June 02, 2012

POLL: Majority Support For WA Marriage Equality

A recently released independent poll of likely voters in Washington state shows clear majority support for marriage equality in advance of an expected ballot measure campaign around Referendum 74, which if approved would allow that state's new marriage equality law to go into effect. In response to the question "Do you think it should be legal or illegal for gay and lesbian couples to get married?" 54% of likely voters say they support marriage, while 33% oppose it. 4% say they "need more information" or "it depends" while 8% refused to answer or said they "don't know." The margin of error in the poll is ± 4.4 points, so it is technically possible (but very unlikely) that support for marriage equality in Washington state is not quite an actual majority.

The crosstabs of the poll are fascinating. A stunning 87% of Democrats support marriage equality (with a mere 7% oppose) while 61% of Republicans oppose marriage equality and 22% support it. King County (which includes Seattle) is the most populous county in the state and voters there support marriage equality by a 60-30 margin. Women (who make up 55% of the electorate) approve of marriage equality at a 61-29 margin while men favor marriage equality 47-38. The only other significant slice of the electorate which opposes marriage equality in Washington state are McCain voters, who oppose it 61-20. Independent voters support marriage equality by a 52-36 margin.

Next week, heterosexual supremacists are expected to submit as many as 150,000 signatures instigating a referendum and preventing the new marriage law from going into effect until after the November 2012 election. Washington United for Marriage, the group protecting the marriage equality law from attack by homophobic religious extremists released a statement:
“This poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Washington voters agree that their lesbian and gay friends, co-workers and family members should have the freedom to marry ,” said Zach Silk, WUM campaign manager. “Our opponents are out-of-step with Washington values, but thanks to their paid signature operation, they’ll turn in huge numbers and succeed in putting the law on November’s ballot.  And we know that what lies ahead is a campaign designed to frighten and confuse voters.”
The poll, conducted by Strategies 360 for the Associated Press, comes on the heels of President Obama’s endorsement marriage for same-sex couples.  Just one day after announcing his decision, the President arrived in Seattle, and on May 10th, told Washington voters that they, “…have the chance to make your voice heard on the issue of making sure that everybody… is treated fairly.”
“In Washington, we did it right.  With broad support from Republicans and Democrats, we passed a law that respects all of our families while protecting the rights of religious institutions to make their own decisions, ” added Silk.  ” This poll affirms what we see and hear everyday: that Washingtonians believe that marriage belongs to all loving, committed couples. But get ready.  Our opponents are already spinning fear and spreading misinformation.  We know that they will do whatever it takes to win.”
Washington is one of the three states which could be voting to legalize marriage equality this fall, along with Maine and Maryland. In Minnesota, they will be voting on a(nother) constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality. Of course, we at will be following these developments very very closely.

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