In February 2012 BYU’s Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy conducted an update to their tracking poll asking residents of Utah the same questions that the NYTimes/CBS Poll asks.
“Which of the following comes closest to your view?”
- Gay couples should be allowed to legally marry.
- Gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry.
- There should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship.
This February 2012 poll showed the continuing trend towards recognition of legal rights for LGBT couples in Utah either through marriage (28%) or through civil unions (43%) with 29% supporting no legal recognition of marriage.
In December 2013 a Federal Judge ruled that Utah’s Amendment 3 is unconstitutional. Passed in 2004 Amendment 3 constitutionally bans same-sex marriage and prevents any legal recognition of LGBT couples through civili unions or domestic partnerships. At that time 54% of voters believed that there should be no legal recognition of LGBT couples with 25% supporting civil unions and 21% supporting marriage.
This week I ran a poll using the most trusted digital polling platform asking the same question to the State of Utah. Nate Silver stated that Google consumer surveys’ election polls were ranked second in terms of reliability and lack of bias. (Disclaimer: I am an employee of Google but paid for this survey using a personal account)
The results of the poll indicate that since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and since the ruling in December the attitudes of Utahn’s have shifted to the point where 41% of Utahn’s support same-sex marriages, an increase of 13pts in two years. Opposition to same-sex marriage has also grown by 2 points up to 31%. Clearly the tides have shifted further than anyone thought as from 2004 to 2012 opinions on same-sex marriage shifted only 7pts in 8 years.
I’ve made the results of the poll publicly available here for others to explore, the most interesting insight is looking at the age breakdown of responses. Women under the age of 55 support same-sex marriage equality at roughly 50% (F18-24 – 61%) with Men ages 45+ against marriage equality (M55-64 – 46.7% opposed)