Jerame Davis

Indiana Equality Poll Shows Support for Gay Rights

Filed By Jerame Davis | May 17, 2006 8:51 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality

In a poll released today by Indiana Equality, Hoosiers were found to support gay and lesbian rights on a number of topics. The poll, which was piggy-backed on the Indiana Poll done semi-annually by the IU Survey Research Center, asked 504 Hoosiers their opinions on hospital visitation, inheritance rights, civil rights, and hate crimes. On each question a majority of Hoosiers agreed that gays and lesbians deserved protections in these areas.

The poll found super-majority support for questions of hospital visitation (74%), civil rights protection (79%), and hate-crimes legislation (77%). A specific follow-up question on hate crimes asking if sexual orientation should be covered under hate crimes received 85% support among those who agreed that hate crimes legislation was important. A smaller majority (53%) agreed that same-sex couples should enjoy inheritance rights.

Indiana Equality did not release polling data on marriage or civil unions. It's assumed that there would be no significant difference in these results from other polls, which shows support hovering around 30%. The folks at IE intend to do more polling in the future.

The results of this poll are significant for gay and lesbian Hoosiers. This level of support makes a strong case for passing a comprehensive state-wide civil rights bill that includes sexual orientation. After the passage of the Indianapolis HRO, about 22% of the Indiana population is now covered by local ordinances that protect from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The support is strong for protecting gay and lesbian citizens.

With gay adoption and the marriage amendment likely to be the next big issues for gay politics in Indiana, let's hope the next poll does some more extensive research on these topics. Still, these results are a major boon for the push to get a civil rights bill in the General Assembly.

Get the full results of the poll

Read Indiana Equality's press release

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Tonight (Wednesday) is the South Bend Common Council's vote on a GLBT amendment to the city's non-discrimination policy. I will be there in support (natch) while a group called "" will be in opposition. Last week they showed a dvd featuring the "ex-gay" movement in an attempt to cast doubt on the very existence of homosexuality. Laughable, especially if anyone has seen the "overcome" sketch on "Mr. Show".

Ed Mahern | May 17, 2006 9:42 PM

Why did it take 5 plus months to release this poll information. The poll was taken in Nov. and Dec. 2005. The press release refers to a recent poll and 5 months is not recent.

I hope you don't mind my reply, and I don't know for sure if this is the reason, but if I recall correctly, November and December were spent feverishly working to get the Indianapolis HRO passed. That took a lot of hard work and energy. I think we need to cut the pollsters some slack.


So are you saying that the poll actually included marriage and civil union data and that IE (i.e., Kathy Sarris) decided we shouldn't see those figures?

I'm not sure if Annette's explanation has legs: it would certainly seem as if this data, which shows that 79% of voters support civil rights protection, would have helped convince politicians to change their minds on the HRO. I'm still curious why the data is so old.

Ellen Andersen | May 18, 2006 7:21 PM

I think I can answer the question of timing, at least a little. The poll itself was conducted at the end of last year. IE didn't receive the data from the IU Survey Research Center for quite some time afterwards. (The questions were part of a much larger survey and the entire survey needed to be coded and checked for accuracy by the SRC staff, before the results were sent to IE.) This kind of survey simply takes a long time to turn around, unlike surveys that only contain a few questions and can be turned around quickly.

That said, I have no information about why IE chose the particular time it did to release the survey results.

Hope this helps.

Linda Perdue | May 18, 2006 7:24 PM

I have to go with Gary Welsh on the question of polling on marriage or civil unions. Was it included in the poll? If so, will the results be released? If not, will IE be polling on that particular issue soon?