A new poll has Minnesota looking like it might buck the trend of passing antigay ballot measures.
Public Policy Polling found a significant swing in opinion since its last poll four months ago. Now 49% of voters are against amending the Minnesota constitution to ban same-sex marriage, with 43% still in favor. In the old poll, 44% were against while 48% were in favor.
PPP says that while Democrats and Republicans are still dug in, it's independents who are changing their minds. They had favored the constitutional amendment by a 50%-40% margin but now oppose it 54%-37%.
"Independents coming a lot closer to Democrats than Republicans on gay rights is becoming something of a constant in our polling," wrote PPP's Tom Jensen. "The GOP seriously risks antagonizing voters in the middle if it continues to pursue a far right social agenda."
Minnesotans United for All Families reacted quickly sent a news release touting the results but also struck a cautious note. "There are still five months until Election Day, and between now and November we have a long road ahead," the pro-marriage equality group said in a statement. "We know that the polls will go up and down between now and then."
Still, officials with the group were hopeful that the poll is an indication their message about love, commitment, and responsibility is breaking through.
“Today’s poll shows there is a conversation happening across this state about what marriage means and how this amendment would limit the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples," the statement said. "The more people talk about this, the more likely they are to vote no in November."
North Carolina recently approved a similar measure, voting overwhelmingly to add a ban to its constitution on all forms of same-sex unions. To date, only Arizona and Washington have ever sided with LGBT voters. Arizona voted in 2006 against a ban, then changed its mind in 2008. Washington voters lined up in support of a measure in 2009 that let the state keep its "everything but marriage" domestic partnerships. And they may be presented this year with the choice of stopping a new marriage equality law from taking effect.