Bil Browning

Poll: Most Hoosiers Oppose Marriage Amendment

Filed By Bil Browning | March 22, 2011 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, HJR-6, marriage amendment, polling results, same-sex marriage

A new poll released this morning by Indiana Equality Action shows an overwhelming shift in Hoosier's attitudes about a proposed anti-same-sex marriage amendment. Most Indiana residents oppose the amendment and pro-LGBT measures have massive levels of support. The poll surveyed 400 registered voters and has a margin of error of 4.9% with a 95% confidence level.

47% of respondents opposed the marriage amendment while only 43% support it. The poll included more Republican responses than Democrat and showed surprising results; 35% of Republican and 30% of self-identifying conservatives oppose the measure as do 41% of seniors. Indiana.gifThe poll also found that Hoosiers were much more interested in economic issues than a ban on same-sex marriage or civil unions.

When questioned about their level of support for protections in public accommodations, housing and employment, 65% of respondents favored amending Indiana law to include sexual orientation and gender identity; 28% opposed such a law. Indiana currently does not have these protections in place and the legislature has refused to even debate such a bill.

While proposed legislation to add sexual orientation and gender identity to school bullying laws failed dramatically this year after intense opposition from the religious right, the poll indicates that legislators ignored the wishes of their constituents. 74% favored adding LGBT students to current bullying laws and only 21% were in opposition. Several Hoosier teens have been attacked or taken their own lives after anti-gay bullying incidents in the past couple of years.

An Indiana state senate committee is expected to vote on the marriage amendment tomorrow but supporters remain hopeful that vigorous opposition from Indiana businesses, media outlets, prominent bipartisan politicians, and civil rights organizations will ultimately defeat the measure. You can download a copy of the Indiana Equality poll summary to see the complete results.


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Perfect timing. I'm headed to the State House this afternoon to address my legislators (Brian Bosman and Scott Schneider) on this issue. Thank you for the information!

Good luck! Bosma is as conservative as they come, and is massively religious too I think (which I guess you know if you are in his district, too, lol). He used to send me questionaires and I answered negatively to every single question. ~

Rick Sutton | March 22, 2011 9:50 AM

Thanks, Bil, for the help and the post.

Betty: you're really going to talk to Sen. Schneider? Pack a lunch...report back, thanks, and whoever pays you--you deserve combat pay for this one!

My idiot rep did a poll of his constituents and it was 89% for and 5% against. Of course I am in Franklin County, SE IN (Batesville, Oldenburg, Hamburg) so that explains a lot. I was one of the 5% who are against the bill and I send in my stuff every time. He never says how many people respond to that survey, but you have to put your own postage on it so I would guess it isn't very high.

Bosma was not in, but I talked with Schneider. Very interesting. Report to follow!

Scott Schneider is anti-gay through and through. He voted against the human rights ordinanace here in Indy several years back. When I questioned him about it he was confrontational in his email replies to me. I am not sure there is any hope for him or for Bosma. But I hope I am wrong. Let us know Betty!

Hall in NL | March 23, 2011 4:16 AM

The wording of this poll doesn't quite gauge an accurate view of public opinion. For instance, using the phrase 'protect' as opposed to 'pass an employment non-discrimination amendment' and referring to 'benefits through civil unions or domestic partnerships' versus 'civil unions or domestic partnerships' makes it likely the poll would move more in favor of gay rights. From previous marriage amendments passed in other states and their opinion polls, the way the questions were worded is not how voters view same-sex marriage when presented with a referendum. And even then, the marriage amendment question only adds up to 90%, meaning there are 10% of undecided voters. Undecided voters often vote for what they perceive to be maintaining the 'status-quo', which for them means 'yes' on the amendment. While it would be nice if these figures accurately reflected overall opinion, I have a good feeling the public is less supportive than shown.

Oops! Too bad what they think doesn't matter.