Poll: Utah evenly split on gay marriage

Nearly half of Utah residents say they support same-sex marriage as a case that could overturn the state’s ban makes its way through the courts. 

According to a poll commissioned by The Salt Lake Tribune, 48 percent of people in the state said same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. The same number opposes the move, with 4 percent who are unsure. 

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The poll showed that 81 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of independents support gay marriage in the state. However, only 30 percent of Republicans support it, while 68 percent oppose it. 

Seventy-two percent of people in the state support civil unions for same-sex couples, including majorities of all parties. And 55 percent of people support at least some legal recognition of same-sex marriage. 

The Tribune notes the poll shows a broad shift since 2004, when voters banned gay marriage in a ballot measure that garnered 66 percent of the vote. 

The poll comes after a district court judge ruled last month that Utah’s ban on gay marriage violated the constitution. Thousands of same-sex couples rushed to obtain marriage licenses before the Supreme Court stayed the court decision in order to give time for Utah to appeal the ruling. 

While the federal government said it would recognize same-sex marriages made in that brief window, the state said it would not. The Utah governor did, however, say the state would comply with federal law in providing federal services to those same-sex couples. 

The poll surveyed 600 adults in Utah and has a 4.1 percentage point margin of error.

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