SEATTLE, Wash. — A new statewide survey by Public Policy Polling finds that, for the first time in its Washington polling, a majority of the state’s voters support marriage equality for same-sex couples.
According to the poll, 51 percent responded that they think same-sex marriage should be legal, compared to 42 percent opposed.
When PPP first polled on the issue in May 2011, Washington voters supported marriage equality 46-44. By February 2012, support had increased to 49 percent.
Republicans have barely moved over the last year but Democrats and independents have both increased their support for gay marriage. Democrats have gone from 76-17 to 82-13 support over that period of time. Independents have gone from being almost evenly divided at 41/42 to favoring it 53/39.
We see the standard large generational gap on this issue in Washington.
Seniors are opposed to gay marriage 56-35, but people under 65 support it by a wide 55-39 margin. When you broaden the discussion to civil unions 77% of Washington voters support some form of legal recognition for same sex couples to only 21 percent completely opposed. Even 56 percent of Republicans favor some kind of recognition.
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law a measure passed in February by the state legislature that legalized same-sex marriage, which made Washington the seventh in the nation to allow same-sex couples to marry. The law was put on on hold after same-sex marriage opponents collected the required 120,577 signatures to put the measure before the voters.
If voters approve Referendum 74, then the state’s marriage equality will be law.
Maryland and Maine will also vote on same-sex marriage this fall.
Although the Maryland legislature passed marriage equality, as with Washington, opponents have garnered enough signatures to force a vote. In Maine, same-sex marriage supporters have put the issue on the ballot.
Minnesota will vote in November on a measure, backed by the Republican Legislature, that enshrines in the state constitution a definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
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