A recently released poll from Indiana shows that nearly two thirds of Hoosier voters oppose a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships. The state already has a law banning same-sex marriage.
By a 64-36 percent margin, voters oppose amending the constitution to address same-sex marriage. This is true for a majority (57 percent) of Republicans, including 54 percent of "very" conservative voters, and for two-thirds of independents and Democrats.
The poll found almost three-fourths of Hoosiers believe there should be some legal recognition or rights for gay and lesbian couples. Hoosiers also have deep concerns about the second sentence of the amendment, which would strip additional legal rights from unmarried couples. More than half of respondents would vote against the amendment after finding out that it bans civil unions and might have other consequences.
Freedom Indiana has been using the nation's first state level Republican-heavy strategy for marriage equality. Megan Robertson, the group's campaign manager, left her job as Communications Director for Congressman Luke Messer (who opposes same-sex marriage) to become the head of the new organization; she also managed Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard's re-election campaign. Ballard was one of the state's first Republicans to announce opposition to the marriage amendment.
Former Governor Mitch Daniels, President George W. Bush's director of the Office of Management and Budget, is also rumored to announce his opposition to the amendment soon and has reportedly been quietly lobbying Republican legislators to let the bill die. While in office, Daniels expressed support for the amendment but during his campaign met with LGBT community leaders and told the gathering that he personally opposed the amendment but would politically support it to reflect the majority of Hoosier voters at the time.
Republican state representatives are meeting today to decide the fate of the amendment. Republicans control the majority seats in both chambers of state government plus the Governor's office. While a handful of Republican state legislators have announced their opposition to the amendment, Governor Mike Pence, a former Congressman known best for his outrageous far-right stances, has expressed his support of the bill.
A 2011 poll showed 47 percent of all voters and 35 percent of Republicans opposing the amendment and a 2012 survey showed the number of voters opposing the amendment had gone up to 54 percent. In total, that's a 17 percent jump in the last year and a half and a 22 percent leap among Republicans.
Support for marriage equality, however, has not grown as rapidly. A 2006 poll commissioned by Indiana Equality showed 28 percent of Hoosier voters supported full marriage equality and 40 percent support for civil unions. The latest poll numbers found that 35 percent favored marriage and 38 percent support for civil unions.