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Polls Show Support for Same-Sex Marriage Bans Eroding

Opposition to same-sex marriage bans is growing in three out of the eight states – Arizona, South Dakota, and Colorado – with ballot initiatives on the subject this November. Failing to pass any of these ballot initiatives would be seen as a major victory for gay marriage advocates, as 19 states have passed ballot initiatives banning same-sex marriage since 1998, with around 70 percent of voters supporting the measure each time. Pollsters attribute the waning support for the bans to better organization and mobilization tactics on the part of lesbian and gay rights advocates, as well as a growing acceptance of homosexuality, according to USA Today.

Colorado’s ballot is especially important, as it has two initiatives concerning gay marriage: one that would ban it completely and another that would create “domestic partnerships,” conferring legal rights to same-sex couples without legalizing marriage. If Colorado voters pass the initiative granting domestic partnerships, gay rights advocates could use this victory to push for greater legal rights in other states. Fifty-eight percent of Colorado voters are in favor of creating domestic partnerships, according to the Advocate.

In Arizona, 51 percent of registered voters oppose the same-sex marriage ban on the ballot, while only 38 percent support it. In South Dakota, only 41 percent support a ban, and 49 percent oppose it, according to USA Today.

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Sources:

USA Today 10/12/06; The New York Times 10/14/06; The Advocate 10/14/06