Poll: Majority of Minnesotans oppose constitutional ban on same-sex marriage


Just days after the Minnesota state Senate approved a ballot initiative seeking to define marriage as between “one man and one woman,” a new poll reveals that a majority of Minnesotans oppose amending the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they oppose adding such an amendment while 39 percent favor a constitutional ban — views that appear to be a sharp reversal of poll results seven years ago, according to the Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.

Opposition to the ban generally cuts across all ages, though support rises gradually with age. Sixty percent of Minnesotans aged 18 to 34 oppose the idea. A slim majority, 51 percent, of Minnesotans older than 65 oppose the constitutional ban. […]

After a long and emotional debate, the Minnesota Senate approved the amendment this week. The state House is expected to soon follow suit. If lawmakers approve, voters would be asked in the 2012 election whether the Constitution should be amended to “provide that only a union of one man and one woman” be recognized as marriage.

The poll, conducted last week, asked 806 Minnesotans, “Please tell me if you would favor or oppose amending the Minnesota constitution to ban same-sex marriage.” Complete results are here.

The Star Tribune poll stands in stark contrast to a survey conducted by anti-gay marriage “pollster” Lawrence Research and paid for by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), two groups that oppose rights for same-sex couples.

According to the NOM poll, 56 percent of Minnesotans opposed same-sex marriage, and only 42 percent said they supported marriage equality — but the poll’s authors have refused to release the questions and other poll data.

You might recall that results from a similar NOM-funded poll in Maryland, also conducted by Lawrence Research differed significantly from independent pollsters.

Lawrence Research is headed by Dr. Gary Lawrence, a Mormon Bishop who conducted similar research in California for the “Yes On 8″ campaign. Lawrence obtained his doctorate in Communications Psychology, and has no formal training or education in polling or statistics analysis.

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