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Poll Shows Majority Of Illinoisans Support Marriage Equality

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Dec 7, 2012 9:20PM

A couple join into a civil union in Chicago in June 2011. Chicago Man

A majority of Illinoisans favor legalizing same-sex marriage, according to a poll by Public Policy Polling that showed 47 percent believe it should be permitted versus 42 percent who disapprove. PPP writes:

In Illinois even though there's only narrow overall support for same sex marriage the numbers are 58% for and 37% against among voters under 45, another sign that it's just a matter of time given the big generational divide on the issue. Black voters, perhaps following the lead of President Obama, think it should be legal by a 60/16 spread. That's a much wider margin than we see with them nationally.

Marriage equality legislation is gaining popularity among top Illinois officials, too. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has repeatedly voice his support and last month said it's his third top state legislative priority behind pension reform and a Chicago casino. It will probably be Emanuel's easiest legislative battle, too, as Gov. Pat Quinn has also said he supports legalizing same-sex marriage and Illinois Democrats won supermajorities in both the Senate and the House. Furthermore, Illinois congressmen Danny K. Davis, Mike Quigley and Jan Schakowsky all posed for photos with the NOH8 campaign on National Coming Out Day in October to show their support.

Advocates say this latest PPP study proves marriage equality legislation in Illinois will happen "sooner rather than later." The Windy City Times writes:

"The advocacy and education work we have been doing in all communities across the state continues to pay off," [Rick] Garcia said in a statement released by The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA).

Anthony Martinez, executive director of TCRA, also noted the strong support for same-sex marriage among voters of color.

"That result shows that the stereotype that people of color do not support the rights of gay and lesbian people is false, and we continue to see that as we work within those communities," he said in a statement.

The poll also showed that if First Lady Michelle Obama were to challenge Sen. Mark Kirk, she already has a 51 to 40 percent hypothetical lead. President Obama has an approval rating of 57 percent in Illinois.