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Trib Poll: Chicagoland Supports Civil Unions, Divided On Gay Marriage

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Aug 16, 2010 2:20PM

Photo by Tim State
Would Illinois voters support gay marriage or at least civil unions? It's a hot topic, especially in the wake of the recent Prop 8 legal wrangling in California, and one that may not be resolved any time soon. But that didn't stop the Tribune from polling 800 "heads of households" in the six-county Greater Chicagoland area about their opinions on same-sex marriage and civil unions. Among their findings:

  • Opinion on gay marriage was split with 42 percent in favor, 42 percent opposed, and 15 percent no opinion.
  • The majority favored legalizing civil unions with 54 percent in favor, 32 percent opposed, and 15 percent no opinion.
  • Half of those polled believe same-sex relationships are not morally wrong while 37 percent believe they are and 13 percent have no opinion.

The gay marriage/civil unions numbers are fairly close to national numbers by Pew Research Center polling as well as state-wide polling done by Equality Illinois in 2005. There are a pair of bills currently in the general assembly and supporters remain optimistic in the face of bureaucratic maneuverings (or, rather, lack thereof). Both the Equal Marriage Act (Senate Bill 2468) and The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act (House Bill 2234) have been mired in committee for some time. State Rep. Deborah Mell led a new charge to get these bills passed earlier this spring when she announced her own engagement to long-time partner Christin Baker.