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Mar 28 2013

Poll: Majority in Ohio Want to Repeal Marriage Equality Ban

A new poll commissioned by the Columbus Dispatch finds that, less than ten years after Ohio voters passed a referendum amending the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, a majority now thinks that referendum should be repealed and marriage in that state should be equal.

Ohioans’ sentiments have shifted dramatically since voters overwhelmingly supported the 2004 ban on same-sex marriage.

The constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman passed with 62 percent support.

But now, just days before the U.S. Supreme Court considers a pair of landmark gay-marriage cases, a new Saperstein Poll for The Dispatch shows that 54 percent back a proposed new amendment to repeal the 2004 measure and “allow two consenting adults to marry, regardless of their gender.”

Just 40 percent oppose the proposal, which also would allow religious institutions to determine who they will or won’t marry, and protect such institutions that refuse to perform a marriage.

The same is true in several others states that passed similar referendums in 2004 and 2008. That’s why I predict that by 2016, we’re going to see several states start to repeal them. The tide has turned on this issue in a big way, no matter what the Supreme Court does.

7 comments

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  1. 1
    slc1

    There’s an even more lopsided poll in California in favor of overturning Proposition 8.

  2. 2
    anubisprime

    A lot can happen in a decade…like a generation can pass away…I think that and increased understanding and despite the loony tune rhetoric from the jeebus droolers, has a lot to do with the results seeming to appear in the stats…

    Another 10 yrs it will seem to dramatically shift again, and I think once more downward for the theistically insane to froth and whine about.

    ‘Nones’ will increase as well, probably exponentially.

    It is a long road to tramp…but the greater part of the journey is behind!

  3. 3
    Childermass

    slc1: “There’s an even more lopsided poll in California in favor of overturning Proposition 8″

    That is why I simply can’t understand why this has not been done already. They probably could gotten that repeal in 2010 and all but certain would have gotten a repeal in 2012 if they had just bothered to put it on the ballot. It is not like there are plenty of other states that one one could take to court if that is is desired. It is stupid to rely on a court to do what you can do for yourself. There is no substitute for winning in the ballot box.

  4. 4
    marcus

    Childermass @3 There is no substitute for winning in the ballot box.
    You have good point, but this is an opinion. There are people who believe, and I am one of them, that the recognition of marriage equality as a civil and human right is superior to making it a popular referendum. We should also consider that the marriage equality proponents have won in court already (twice), with every indication that they are going to win the current case, whether by design or default, as well.

  5. 5
    whheydt

    Re: Childermass @ #3:

    There have been news reports from time to time about groups readying a ballot proposition to reverse Prop. 8, but remember, in 2010, the trial court ruled that Prop. 8 violated the 14th Amendment.

    Mostly, I think it’s been a “wait and see” operation. If the USSC upholds Prop. 8, then I think you’ll see an immediate–and successful–effort to repeal it on the ballot.

    Much more interesting will be if the USSC overturns Prop. 8 to see how narrow or broad that ruling is. Pretty much the narrowest would be if they find a way to affirm the Ninth Circuit ruling (you can’t take away a right once it’s been granted…and other threads have noted to very interesting ramifications of *that*). On the other hand, if they either adopt the reasons from the trial court or decide that the Prop. 8 supporters lack standing at *both* the USSC *and* the Ninth Circuit, that would leave the trial court decision in place without making it a precedent, though it would undoubtedly be cited in other states.

    Some of the statements from the oral arguments appear to indicate that at least some justices really regret accepting the Prop. 8 case at all. I suppose that’s interesting to me, since my own expectation before they accepted cert was that they wouldn’t because neither side could be sure of having five votes.

    Of course, as a couple of Calfornia Law professors (http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/03/28/bay-area-law-professors-predict-high-court-will-invalidate-prop-8-doma/) opine, we may get a majority decision with no majority reasoning.

    All in all, the dust isn’t likely to settle for quite a while.

  6. 6
    Synfandel

    Often the turn-over of the generations is necessary to the changing of public opinion, because each individual’s point of view on a subject tends to become fossilized over time. However, I suspect that in the case of same-sex marriage we’re also seeing a lot of individuals changing their minds.

    The unanalyzed, gut-level reaction against anything to do with gayness that so many straight people felt ten years go is giving way to a more mature and considered assessment now that the subject of same-sex marriage has been a matter of public discussion and private contemplation for a few years. Straight people feel less threatened by its seeming newness. Increased awareness of actual gay and lesbian people in our own families and circles of acquaintance, as more people are more open about being gay or lesbian, also enhances the general comfort level.

    I agree with Ed. The tide has turned–certainly in Europe and Canada, and increasingly in the U.S. which tends to have more social inertia.

  7. 7
    abb3w

    @6, Synfandel:

    Often the turn-over of the generations is necessary to the changing of public opinion, because each individual’s point of view on a subject tends to become fossilized over time. However, I suspect that in the case of same-sex marriage we’re also seeing a lot of individuals changing their minds.

    It’s about equal; circa 1% difference per year in time between polls within cohorts, and 1% per year of generational cohort within years.

    Incidentally, the GSS-2012 is up at Berkeley’s SDA, for those who want to play with the MARHOMO survey data. Gay marriage supporters are now plurality, with 48% agree/strongly-agree on legalization versus 38% disagree/strongly-disagree. Even in the South, support is in the 30-40% range.

    This doesn’t seem a mere tide turning; this looks like a tsunami shockwave hitting land.

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