Black Voters Support Marriage Equality in Illinois By Wide Margin

By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on December 07 2012 11:55 AM ET

As marriage equality advocates in Illinois look to push for legislation in the next year, a new poll measures a promising level of support from African-American voters in the state.

Black voters in the state support marriage equality 60% to 16%, according to a survey released by Public Policy Polling this past Wednesday. Support is even higher among Latino voters, at 70% to 23%. By comparison, white voters oppose marriage equality by 51% to 40% in Illinois, according to the liberal-leaning pollster. Voters in general support marriage equality in the state by 47% to 42%.

Nationally, about 52% of black and Latino voters support marriage equality, according to exit polls reported by the Washington Post. Support was higher among African-American women than men, at 59% compared to 42%.

In Maryland, where African Americans make up about one-third of voters, support for the referendum to uphold the new marriage equality law stood at 46%. African Americans make up about 15% of voters in Illinois, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Public Policy Polling also found that New Jersey voters favor marriage equality by 53% to 36%, with more Republicans (21%) in favor than Democrats (19%) who oppose it. Some 72% of voters want to be allowed to vote on the issue in a referendum. Governor Chris Christie supports a referendum but Democratic legislative leaders have dismissed the idea.