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Illinois poll: 50 percent of Illinoisans support same-sex marriage bill

Illinois poll: 50 percent of Illinoisans support same-sex marriage bill

CHICAGO — The results of a Crain’s/Ipsos Illinois Poll released this week found that 50 percent of the state’s adult residents support the same-sex marriage bill currently making its way through the Illinois state legislature.

Illinois lawmakers celebrate passage of the marriage equality bill in the state Senate on Feb. 14.
Photo: Justin L. Fowler, The State Journal-Register/AP

The online survey of 600 adults found that 50 percent support the bill, which was approved by the state Senate last week, while 29 percent oppose it. Twenty percent had no opinion or mixed feelings on the topic.

According to Crain’s, support is strongest in Chicago, with 56 percent backing passage. A majority of 52 percent of suburban residents supports approval, but support drops to a plurality of 48 percent downstate.

Those surveyed specifically were asked their view on a bill that “would officially legalize marriage between gay and lesbian couples in the state of Illinois but exempt religious institutions from being required to perform same-sex marriages.”

Respondents who opposed the bill cited religious beliefs as their main reason, with 51 percent indicating religion is a factor for them.

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A total of 48 percent said “non-religious reasons that marriage should be between a man and a woman” is a factor, with 42 percent indicating that the lawmakers should focus on “more critical issues” and 28 percent answering that civil unions should be sufficient for gay couples.

The bill is now headed to the state House, and Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), the bill’s sponsor in that chamber, said last week “the prospects are very good” that the measure will pass in the Democratic-controlled House.

Democratic Governor Pat Quinn said last Thursday that Illinois is “one step closer” to marriage equality, calling the measure “historic legislation.”

Quinn has pledged to sign the measure if it reaches his desk, which would make Illinois the 10th state in the nation and to allow same-sex marriage.

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