LARAMIE, Wyo. — Just weeks after same-sex couples in Wyoming gained the the right to marry, a new survey finds the majority of the state’s residents support marriage for same-sex couples.
The new poll by the University of Wyoming found 53 percent of respondents supported marriage for same-sex couples, compared to 39 percent opposed.
The poll results represent a significant increase over the last 10 years in support for marriage equality. In 2004, only 24 percent of Wyoming residents supported legalizing same-sex marriage.
“This represents a notable shift in public opinion,” said Jim King, a University of Wyoming professor of political science and a co-director of the survey. “Two years ago, 55 percent of Wyomingites disapproved of same-sex marriage and 40 percent approved. We’ve seen a reversal in those numbers.”
“Self-identified moderates and liberals support same-sex marriage by substantial margins while conservatives remain opposed,” King said. “However, there also is a difference across age groups, with younger adults being more supportive of same-sex marriage than senior citizens, regardless of the person’s ideology.”
Same-sex marriage became legal in Wyoming on October 21 after a federal court judge struck down the ban as unconstitutional.
King said the ruling was announced while survey interviews were being conducted, but the decidion did not seem to affect the survey results. He said the proportion of survey respondents supporting and opposing same-sex marriage did not change after the court’s decision was announced.