Results from a new poll commissioned by the Salt Lake City Tribune show a shift in Utah voters' views on marriage equality and same-sex relationship recognition that the paper calls "dramatic" and "remarkable":
Residents are now evenly split on whether same-sex couples in Utah should be allowed to get state-issued marriage licences -- 48 percent for and 48 percent against -- and nearly three-fourths (72 percent) said same-sex couples should be allowed to form civil unions or domestic partnerships in lieu of marriage.
The results reflect a remarkable turn since 66 percent of Utahns who participated in the 2004 general election approved Amendment 3, which limited civil marriage to a man and a woman and barred any state recognition of other relationships such as civil unions or domestic partnerships.
The latest poll follows landmark decisions this year on marriage rights of same-sex couples by a federal judge in Utah as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.
Support for same-sex marriage was strongest among non-Mormons, people between ages 18 and 34 and those who described themselves as Democrats. Slightly more than a third of respondents (36 percent) said their views on same-sex marriage have shifted over time, something that was equally true of Mormons and non-Mormons. Overwhelmingly, people in both of those demographic categories said their views had become more accepting.
But perhaps in one surprise, the broad support for civil unions or domestic partnerships included 65 percent of respondents who said they were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [emphases mine]
To say these results are encouraging would be an understatement. The times, they are a-changin', folks -- even in Utah.