Marriage equality has been an intensely debated social issue in Iowa ever since the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2009, but a new poll suggests many Iowans are either conflicted or just aren’t interested in the debate.
While both sides of the often divisive and emotional issue have kept it front and center in the public discourse during last year’s elections and the current legislative session, a well-populated middle ground means neither supporters nor opponents should claim that a majority of Iowans share their views.
Asked whether they favored or opposed the recent Iowa Supreme Court decision that allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry in Iowa, 30 percent told the Iowa Poll they just don’t care much one way or the other, while 37 percent opposed or strongly opposed the court ruling and 32 percent favored it or strongly favored it.
The poll also reflected that 44 percent say the judicial retention vote that ousted three Iowa Supreme Court justices was bad for the state; 39 percent said it was good.
Earlier this month, the Republican-controlled Iowa state House passed a billed aimed at a constitutional amendment to repeal the state’s marriage equality law, and deny any form of legal recognition for gay couples.
But the measure must be approved by both houses of the Iowa legislature in two consecutive legislative sessions before being put up for referendum.
But according to the poll, only 35 percent would vote in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, while 38 percent said they would vote against the measure.
The Iowa Poll was commissioned by the Des Moines Register, and was based on interviews with 800 Iowans ages 18 or older.