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Poll: Utah residents equally split on same-sex marriage

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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Steve C. Wilson, APSupporters of gay marriage fill the rotunda as they gathered to rally at the Utah State Capitol Friday Jan. 10, 2014.

Steve C. Wilson, AP
Marriage equality supporters fill the rotunda as they gathered to rally at the Utah State Capitol Friday Jan. 10, 2014.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah residents are now evenly split on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to get state-issued marriage licenses — 48 percent in favor, and 48 percent opposed, according to a new poll for The Salt Lake Tribune.

The poll finds that Utahns’ views on same-sex couples’ relationships have dramatically shifted in the decade since voters amended the state’s constitution to prohibit them from receiving any legal recognition.

Nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of respondents said same-sex couples should be allowed to at least form civil unions or domestic partnerships in lieu of marriage.

Support for same-sex marriage was strongest among non-Mormons, people between ages 18 and 34 and those who described themselves as Democrats, reported The Tribune.

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Slightly more than a third of respondents (36 percent) said their views on same-sex marriage have shifted over time, something that was equally true of Mormons and non-Mormons. Overwhelmingly, people in both of those demographic categories said their views had become more accepting.

Amendment 3, Utah’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, was approved in 2004 by 66 percent of voters. The measure also barred any state recognition of other relationships such as civil unions or domestic partnerships.

On December 20, 2013, a federal judge ruled the ban unconstitutional, opening the door to same-sex marriage in Utah. The U.S. Supreme court stayed the order on Jan. 6, pending an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

More than 1,000 gay couples obtained marriage licenses in Utah in the 17 days when same-sex marriage was legal.

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