PROVO, Utah — A poll released Monday by Brigham Young University’s Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy found that 43 percent of respondents surveyed thought civil unions should be legal, while 28 per cent wanted full marriage equality.
Conversely, the survey results showed that only 29 percent were opposed to any form of legal recognition, a substantial drop from 54 pecent in 2004.
“Utah is seeing the same kind of movement that we see in the United States generally,” said Chris Karpowitz, a BYU political science professor and fellow at the center, reported the Deseret News.
“We’re getting massive change in public opinion in a very short period of time,” he said.
“What makes Utah voters different,” Karpowitz said, is that they are moving “not toward full support of marriage equality but toward civil unions.”
The total percentage in favor of marriage equality, including those who support civil unions as an alternative, was 72 percent.
President Barack Obama’s recent shift on the same-sex marriage issue has brought renewed attention to the voter trends in national polling regarding same-sex equality rights.
Survey data from Gallup, Pew, and New York Times/CBS all show that Americans are now more likely to agree with the administration than they were just a few years ago.
The survey was based on election exit polls and surveys of voter panels derived from exit polls at four time points beginning in 2004.