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Marriage Equality

POLL: Nationwide Marriage Equality Inevitable — and Welcome

POLL: Nationwide Marriage Equality Inevitable — and Welcome


Respondents to a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll say there's no point in the Supreme Court ruling negatively on the issue.

A majority of Americans believe nationwide marriage equality is inevitable, according to a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll.

Fifty-one percent of respondents to the nationwide poll say "that it's no longer practical for the Supreme Court to ban same-sex marriages because so many states have legalized them," USA Today reports. There were 35 percent on the other side of the issue. The court will hear a consolidated case on marriage equality out of four states April 28.

A key reason for support of marriage equality, the paper notes, is that so many respondents have a family member or close friend who is in a same-sex marriage. Forty-six percent reported that they did.

Follow-up interviews with respondents indicate how relationships can change opinions. Kraig Ziegler, 58, of Flagstaff, Ariz., said he was somewhat uncomfortable attending a wedding reception for two men who are friends of his wife, but added, "I got to know the guys, and they're all right. They don't make passes or anything at me." Although he said he believes in the one-man, one-woman definition of marriage, for which he cites the Bible, he is now undecided about whether the law should allow same-sex marriages.

The poll also found a majority of respondents oppose "license to discriminate" laws, which would allow businesses to cite religious views as a legal reason for refusing to provide goods and services for same-sex weddings. Fifty-eight percent said businesses should not have this right, with only 31 percent saying they should.

"It's nobody's right to say, 'This is right or this is wrong' or exclude a certain group of people," said Ashley Williams, 25, of Durham, N.C. "Just because they're gay doesn't mean they're any less human."

However, respondents seem to be of two minds on this issue. Sixty-three percent said they were "concerned that a law requiring businesses to provide services to same-sex weddings would force those involved to go against their religious beliefs or pay a penalty," while 64 percent "are concerned that a law allowing people to refuse such services on religious grounds would discriminate against gay men and lesbians," USA Today reports.

There were 1,000 participants in the poll, conducted by phone April 8-13. It has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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