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Plurality supports gay marriage, but majority wants a statewide vote

Thursday, Dec 6, 2012

* Public Policy Polling’s recent Illinois survey asked Illinoisans about gay marriage. A plurality supported it

Do you think same-sex marriage should be allowed in Illinois, or not?

It should …………………………………………………. 47%
It should not ……………………………………………. 42%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 11%

* From the pollster

In Illinois even though there’s only narrow overall support for same sex marriage the numbers are 58% for and 37% against among voters under 45, another sign that it’s just a matter of time given the big generational divide on the issue. Black voters, perhaps following the lead of President Obama, think it should be legal by a 60/16 spread. That’s a much wider margin than we see with them nationally

* More from the crosstabs. A plurality of men oppose the idea…

* Republicans strongly oppose it and independents are less opposed…

* A majority of whites oppose it…

* Seniors are more likely to oppose the concept than any other age group…

* And even though there are no binding ballot initiatives in Illinois, a large majority thinks the public ought to vote on the idea…

Do you think Illinois voters should be allowed to vote on whether they think same-sex marriage should be legal, or not?

Voters should be allowed to………………………. 68%
They should not ………………………………………. 19%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 13%


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Yossarian Lives - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 9:41 am:

    Maybe this is obvious, but I also think it’s worth mentioning that asking whether voters should be ALLOWED to weigh in on an issue is very different, rhetorically, from asking whether the legislature ought to act.

  2. - Conservative Republican - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 9:46 am:

    Well. I can’t wait for Mr. Garcia’s next press release.

    47%. Less than a majority, but a plurality. And the gay-marriage friendly party has a lock on Illinois government, mostly due to gerrymandering.

    But hey, if politically you have a legislative majority (and the Governor’s mansion), isn’t “a plurality”, albeit 47%, enough justification to change the law on a basic human institution that has been in existence since the Illinois territory was formed, since the enactment of the Northwest Ordinance, since English and French colonization, and in the Western world, since time immemorial?

  3. - Just Observing - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 9:46 am:

    === Maybe this is obvious, but I also think it’s worth mentioning that asking whether voters should be ALLOWED to weigh in on an issue is very different, rhetorically, from asking whether the legislature ought to act. ===

    My thoughts exactly.

  4. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 10:02 am:

    Old white people are stuck in the last century, nothing new. If I’m the Democrats, I want this on the ballot in 2014, this could be a huge boon to them. Progressives and people under 30 would be coming out to vote in higher numbers and definitely tip the scale, even if it would be a rough hear for the president’s party (which I think the House Republicans will temper down for them).

  5. - downstate commissioner - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 10:05 am:

    I thought it was obvious, but maybe some (a lot of?) people didn’t read it right, but that last question is kind of irrelevant to the original poll. For god’s sake, just do it and get it over with, and go on to more important (to me, anyway) stuff.

  6. - Aldyth - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 10:32 am:

    Human rights should never be dependent on popular vote or a gift from the majority to a minority.

  7. - just sayin' - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 10:43 am:

    It is just a matter of time. As you indicate, if you talk to any young people, this just isn’t an issue at all for the vast majority of them. And that won’t change as they get older.

    The old coots might as well fold their tents. The conservative side has completely failed to articulate its case in a winning way. It’s done.

  8. - Waldi - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 10:48 am:

    I see this as a civil rights issue. Most people in southern states wouldn’t have voted anti-slavery and I doubt women’s suffrage would have passed by popular vote.

  9. - RetiredStateEmployee - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 10:52 am:

    “Homosexuality is regarded as shameful by barbarians and by those who live under despotic governments just as philosophy is regarded as shameful by them, because it is apparently not in the interest of such rulers to have great ideas engendered in their subjects, or powerful friendships or passionate love-all of which homosexuality is particularly apt to produce” - Plato

    So much for your “time immemorial”. Learn your history.

  10. - I wonder... - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 11:06 am:

    20 year olds are in favor by about 70%, according to Pew. This won’t be an issue that much longer. Particularly since the sky didn’t fall in Washington state today.

  11. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 11:23 am:

    ===since time immemorial===

    Conservative Republican, you have a short and selective memory. The institution of marriage has been changing since Adam and Eve, who were not technically married either.

  12. - I wonder... - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 11:31 am:


    Not to get into some biblical battle that Rich is tired of hearing… I will instead send you over to this clip.

    Bible says a lot of things we no longer see as relevent.

  13. - Proud - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 11:42 am:

    I couldnt agree more on this being a Civil Rights issue! doing away with legal discrimination wasnt “popular” when it was racial, gender, etc. I hope the US Supreme court puts this issue to rest soon on a national basis. BTW I am a 47 yr old, white heterosexual, catholic male from Central Illinois who has been married for 23 years!

  14. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 12:12 pm:

    I imagine the acceptability of marijuana use has increased a great deal in the past few years - maybe last few months. Like to see those results

  15. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:25 pm:

    The kids are alright. Smart, tolerant, progressive, minding their own business. We raised them well.

  16. - qcexaminer - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:44 pm:

    I think elections are the right way to go.

    Legislators are vulnerable to the powerful and wealthy gay lobby. Gay marriage by anti-democratic judicial fiat sets up the same fight we’ve seen for

    abortion since Roe v. Wade.

    If the people want it, it would be legitimate—otherwise, lobbyists and judicial activism will keep the issue an open sore to be picked by left and right alike.

    Gay marriage must win over the people, not just the lobbyists and activist judges.

  17. - Liberty First - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:51 pm:

    Since when is behavior a civil right?

  18. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:51 pm:

    - Legislators are vulnerable to the powerful and wealthy gay lobby. -

    Yeah, and the christian right is so weak and underfunded. Give me a break.

  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:57 pm:

    ===Since when is behavior a civil right? ===

    That’s so sad on so many levels.

  20. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:57 pm:

    –Since when is behavior a civil right?==

    What “behavior” are you referring to?

    Do you have some checklist of acceptable “behavior” that you apply to consenting adults, Liberty First?

  21. - shore - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 2:01 pm:

    I’ve said it before here but gay rights activists should do this now while the wind is at their backs and challenge Republicans who couldn’t make political hay out of a tax hike to come get them for this. I would imagine it passing quite easily and I think would help Quinn with his base.

  22. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 2:31 pm:

    - Liberty First -

    - Since when is behavior a civil right? -

    An ironic pairing, to be sure.

  23. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 2:33 pm:

    So they poll on everything from Jay Cutler to gay marriage but not on driver’s licenses or the pension shift?

    grrrrrr…. and yes, I just growled at a poll.

  24. - ChicagoR - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 3:15 pm:

    Good point, STL. Maybe it should be “Liberty First for Me but Not for Thee”.

  25. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 7:38 pm:

    Loving vs. Virginia.

  26. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 8:33 pm:

    @Liberty First -

    Apparently, you skipped over the “pursuit of happiness” part of our Founding Fathers’ Declaration.

    And, as was pointed out earlier, are unclear on the meaning of “Liberty.”

  27. - titan - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 9:55 am:

    The judial fiat route of Roe v Wade set up (going on) half a century of turmoil in Supreme Court appointments and other perpetual political fighting.

    Legislative enactment would likely fare much better, but might well not fully settle things.

    Referendum approval pretty conclusively ends the fight.

    It would seem that the referendum route is the best - the fight over it might end a generation or more sooner.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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