New poll in Utah demonstrates increasing support for the freedom to marry

A new poll in Utah, released by SurveyUSA and commissioned by The Salt Lake Tribune, indicates that support for the freedom to marry in Utah is higher than ever in the weeks following the December 20 federal court ruling that struck down anti-marriage laws in the state. 

The poll shows that the population is evenly split on its feelings about marriage for same-sex couples: 48 percent support the freedom to marry, while 48 percent said they are not in favor of marriage for same-sex couples. Ten years ago, an amendment restricting marriage to different-sex couples passed in Utah with 66 percent support, so this week's poll results represent a remarkable shift in public opinion in the state. 

In the weeks between the December 20 ruling and January 6, when the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay in the ruling and paused marriages between same-sex couples, more than 1,300 couples married in Utah. It's clear that in the ten years that have passed between 2004 and now, more fair-minded Utahns than ever reflected on why marriage matters to them and came to the conclusion that allowing same-sex couples to marry hurts no one - and that it in fact enhances communities and strengthens families. 

Notably in the poll, the freedom to marry has intense support among Democrats (81%) and non-Mormons (76%), as well as majority support among respondents ages 18-49 (50%) and Independents (50%).

When respondents were asked, "Do you support any legal recognition of same-sex relationships?" 55% said yes, and when the question was expanded to include whether same-sex couples should be permitted to join together in civil union or domestic partnership, an overwhelming 72% said yes. 

Surveys like this indicate that increasingly, Utahns are understanding that same-sex couples want to marry for the same reasons that different-sex couples want to marry: to protect their families, to declare their commitment in front of their friends and family, and to have their love respected by their state and their country. 

Learn more about the freedom to marry in Utah HERE