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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Poll: Utahns willing to fight for Amendment 3, believe victory unlikely

By Morgan Jacobsen, Deseret News

Published: Mon, Aug. 18 8:55 p.m. MDT

 A recent poll shows the majority of Utahns support the state's decision to appeal the ruling that struck down Amendment 3, but an even greater number believe the Supreme Court will rule a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

A recent poll shows the majority of Utahns support the state's decision to appeal the ruling that struck down Amendment 3, but an even greater number believe the Supreme Court will rule a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

(Damian Dovarganes, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — A poll conducted last week shows the majority of Utahns "completely support" the state's decision to appeal last year's ruling that struck down Amendment 3, but an even greater number believe the Supreme Court will rule a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

The Zions Bank/UtahPolicy.com poll, conducted by Dan Jones & Associates, found that 61 percent of 400 "likely voters" oppose same-sex marriage, and 29 percent support it. This much was expected, according to Bryan Schott, managing editor at UtahPolicy.com.

But while 62 percent of respondents support Utah's decision to appeal to the Supreme Court, only 17 percent believe the Supreme Court will uphold Utah's ban on same-sex marriage.

Schott says the poll shows that most Utahns are passionate fighters in favor of a ban, but they're resigned to believing that victory is unlikely.

"I think that they understand the legal reality of things. There have been so many rulings in lower courts striking down bans on same-sex marriage," he said. "But this says that Utahns feel so strongly about this issue, that it's a fight worth having, and they're in it all the way to the bitter end, no matter what happens."

Kjersten Adams, a business analyst with Dan Jones & Associates, says the findings mirror conservative sentiment in the state.

"I think it shows that Utahns want the state to do as much as possible to uphold (Amendment 3), but they also have a pretty good idea or belief that they won't get the ruling that they're looking for," Adams said.

The poll found that 88 percent of those who identified themselves as "very active" members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints oppose same-sex marriage, while 40 percent of those who are "somewhat active" support same-sex marriage. Ninety percent of those who reported having no religious beliefs were found to support same-sex marriage.

"This is an issue that seems to be very tied to religions in the state," Schott said.

The poll also illustrates an apparent division between political parties on the issue, with 87 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of independents opposed to same-sex marriage, and 79 percent of Democrats in support of it.

"This issue is clearly very divisive and very toxic for voters here in Utah," Schott said. "This is a bad issue for Democrats simply because there aren't enough Democrats to elect Democrats on their own to public offices. … They need political independents, and if they tie themselves so closely to same-sex marriage, that turns off political independents and that hurts a lot of their abilities to win these offices.

"It's not an issue that wins elections."

Email: mjacobsen@deseretnews.com, Twitter: MorganEJacobsen

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1. play by the rules
SOUTH JORDAN, UT,
Aug. 18, 2014

Absoulutely believe we should fight for states rights and have resolved myself to the fact that Man will make legal what God has called immoral.

2. Adalaide
OREM, UT,
Aug. 18, 2014

The problem with this poll is the percentage of people who were Mormon. While 88 percent identified as very active, only 62% of the population of the state is LDS and not all of those would identify as very active. A more accurate representation of the population would be needed to accurately reflect how the voters actually feel, rather than finding out how the Mormons feel.

3. Manzanita
Las Vegas, NV,
Aug. 18, 2014

I suppose if an organization is ultimately going to lose on an issue, might as well commission a poll to help manage the expectations of those who have followed it into defeat.

Equality for all is inevitable.

4. Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT,
Aug. 19, 2014

@Play by the rules
Um, there are tons of things that are legal, but the LDS church doesn't consider moral. Let me list some of them. Drinking, cigarettes, pornography, adultery, coffee, tea and many more I didn't list. It's not like this is a shock to the LDS system, the concept of the state legalizing something they don't believe in. I don't see protests at the Starbucks, so why couldn't LDS people just, ya know, not get gay married?

5. YoungPuppy
west Jordan, UT,
Aug. 19, 2014

This is a bad issue for Democrats simply because there aren't enough Democrats to elect Democrats on their own to public offices."

I disagree with this statement. I think it is a bad issue for Republicans to oppose. I think that they are alienating yet another group of people for fighting this. It is similar to African Americans, with the civil rights movement, and Hispanic people, in the recent border issues, and women as well. Many of the people in these groups are turned off by the stance of Republicans on their issues. They cling to their "conservative values" and ignore progressive values that much of the population is for.

When this country is founded only white males could vote. White males are the base and core of the Republican party. Unfortunately for Republicans White males are becoming less and less of the voting population.

I think that Republicans need to pivot and start to embrace the inevitable before they loose more potential voters on this issue.