Utahns' approval of same-sex marriage increased over last decade

Supporters of gay marriage fill the rotunda as they gather to rally at the Utah State Capitol, Jan. 10, 2014.
Supporters of gay marriage fill the rotunda as they gather to rally at the Utah State Capitol, Jan. 10, 2014.

Favorability for marriage equality among Utah residents has increased in the past decade, a new poll found.

Forty-eight percent of Utahns said they believe same-sex couples should be allowed to obtain state-issued marriage licenses, according to the poll. A decade ago, 66% of Utahns who participated in the 2004 general election voted for Amendment 3, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It also banned state recognition of civil unions and domestic partnerships.

Seventy-two percent of residents recently said the state should allow same-sex couples to form civil unions, according to the new poll. SurveyUSA, an independent, non-partisan opinion research firm, presented nine questions to 600 randomly-chosen Utahns during a telephone survey between Jan. 10 and Jan. 13.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled on Dec. 20, 2013 the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. Last week, though, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Utah's request for a temporary halt on same-sex nuptials.

Thirty-six percent of Utahns said their views on marriage equality have changed throughout time, the poll found.

In addition to the 48% of residents who approve of same-sex marriage licenses in Utah, the same percent disagreed. The state was also evenly divided - 45% - on laws allowing same-sex couples to adopt children.

Approval was lowest among Mormons and Republicans.