MINNEAPOLIS — Just weeks before a new law takes effect that will legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota, voters are still almost evenly divided on the issue, according to a new poll.
The poll by the Star Tribune published Thursday found 46 percent of those surveyed support the law change that will allow marriage between same-sex couples beginning on Aug. 1. Forty-four percent are opposed and 10 percent are undecided.
Despite the lack of a majority, supporters said they were encouraged by a shift toward acceptance of same-sex marriage since a similar poll in late February, when only 38 percent thought legislators should change the law to allow such unions.
“More and more Minnesotans are coming to the realization that limiting the freedom to marry doesn’t agree with the core values of the state,” said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United, the group that led the lobbying effort to legalize same-sex marriage.
“That’s only going to continue to grow over the next year and the next 10 years,” he said.
The poll showed support for gay marriage remains highest in the Twin Cities. Sixty-six percent of those polled in Hennepin and Ramsey counties backed the law change. In greater Minnesota, 54 percent opposed letting gay couples get married.
Gov. Mark Dayton and the DFL-led Legislature legalized same-sex marriage in May. The law goes in effect on August 1, and many gay couples have already started applying for marriage licenses.