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Key demographic groups favor Illinois marriage equality bill
From a press release
2013-10-21

This article shared 3031 times since Mon Oct 21, 2013
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CHICAGO — Releasing a new statewide poll showing dramatic majority support for the freedom to marry in Illinois, Equality Illinois today urges that the House approve the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act during its fall session, which begins on Tuesday.

A strong majority of 52 percent of Illinois voters support legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples, and the figure grew to 54 percent support when pollsters shared information about the summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned federal restrictions against recognizing same-sex marriages.

Some of the most notable majorities were among women, minority voters, Catholic voters and younger voters. Voters who identified as Catholic favored the freedom to marry by a 2-to-1 margin, and actually offered more support for marriage equality when told that some public figures, including Catholic bishops, oppose marriage between same-sex couples.

Equality Illinois, the state's oldest and largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans, commissioned the poll of likely voters. It was taken by Fako & Associates of Lisle, IL, a national public opinion research firm, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.94 percent.

"With Illinois same-sex couples suffering because they cannot access federal benefits available to married couples, the time is now in the fall legislative session for the House to complete its unfinished business on the marriage bill," said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.

"With these poll results, there is certainly no political reason why representatives shouldn't pass it in overwhelming numbers," Cherkasov continued. "There are simply no excuses left. We expect every House member who has expressed support publicly or privately for marriage equality or who has been leaning in favor of it to vote 'aye.'"

"This is the time for courage and leadership, and not political calculations. And those who stand in the way of the clear majority of Illinoisans will be held accountable by their constituents." Cherkasov said.

Some of the major findings from the statewide poll, taken October 8-10, 2013 include:

52 percent supported legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples; 40 percent opposed.

Support grew to 54 percent, with opposition dropped to 39 percent, when voters contemplated that Illinois gay and lesbian couples still do not have access to over 1,100 federal rights and protections stemming from marriage after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a section of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

Support stayed solid at 53 percent, with 41 percent opposed, when pollsters read a balanced, factual statement about who supported the bill, including President Obama and Sen. Mark Kirk ( R-Illinois ), and who opposed it, including Catholic Cardinal Francis George of Chicago and Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield.

Catholics supported marriage fairness 61 percent to 32 percent; Catholic support increased to 63 percent, 31 percent opposed, when read the balanced statement that included the bishops' opposition.

Hispanic voters supported the freedom to marry 63 percent to 29 percent opposed, a level of support that increased to 70 percent when the Supreme Court decision was explained.

African American voters favored the law by a 55 percent to 36 percent majority.

Women supported the proposed marriage law 57 percent to 34 percent opposed.

And the level of support among all the groups grew the younger the voter being interviewed: 63 percent of voters under 50 backed the law, and that grew to 78 percent support from voters under age 35.

"These results demonstrate wide and deep support for the freedom to marry for all Illinois couples," Chekasov said. "We believe the bill should be passed by the House because it is the right thing to do. But Illinois political figures who want to be on the right side of history and who have an eye on the future should take note that every year support for this only strengthens and the electorate favors marriage equality with increasing fervor as the voters get younger. The time is now to pass the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act."

Please see a memo from Fako & Associates explaining the poll in more detail at this link: eqil.org/cmsdocuments/EQIL_POLL_SUMMARY.pdf .


This article shared 3031 times since Mon Oct 21, 2013
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