Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Around The Nation

Crain's Poll: 50 Percent of Illinoisans Back Same-sex Marriage
CHICAGO, IL -- The results of a Crain's/Ipsos Illinois Poll released Monday showed that 50 percent of the state's adult residents support the same-sex marriage bill that cleared the Illinois Senate last week.
The online survey of 600 adults found that 50 percent support the bill while 29 percent oppose it, with 20 percent saying they don't know or have mixed feelings on the matter.
According to Crain's, support is strongest in Chicago, with 56 percent backing passage. A majority of 52 percent of suburban residents supports approval, but support drops to a plurality of 48 percent downstate.
Those surveyed specifically were asked their view on a bill that “would officially legalize marriage between gay and lesbian couples in the state of Illinois but exempt religious institutions from being required to perform same-sex marriages.”
In a bit of a surprise, intensity of feeling is strongest among supporters of legalization. 
Of the 50 percent who favor passage statewide, 37 percent do so “strongly” and 13 percent “somewhat” — an almost 3-1 margin. Among opponents, 19 percent “strongly oppose” passage, compared with 10 percent who “somewhat oppose” passage — about a 2-1 margin. The differing splits are within the survey's accuracy range but may indicate that lawmakers face as much or more political risk voting “no” as they do “yes.” 
Respondents who oppose passage cited their religious beliefs as their main reason, with 51 percent indicating religion is a factor for them. A total of 48 percent said “non-religious reasons that marriage should be between a man and a woman” is a factor, with 42 percent indicating that the lawmakers should focus on “more critical issues” and 28 percent answering that civil unions should be sufficient for gay couples. 
The poll allowed opponents to name multiple reasons for objecting to gay marriage.
Democratic Governor Pat Quinn said last Thursday that Illinois is “one step closer” to marriage equality, calling the measure “historic legislation.” Quinn has pledged to sign the measure if it reaches his desk.
He urged the Illinois House of Representatives to pass the same legislation.
Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), said he “the prospects are very good” that the measure will pass in the House, where he’s the bill sponsor.
Once passed by the House and signed into law by the governor, Illinois would become the 10th state in the nation and to allow same-sex marriage.