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Continued: Minnesota Poll: A majority doesn’t want gay

  • Article by: BAIRD HELGESON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 6, 2013 - 9:50 AM

Among those 65 and older, 72 percent say the law should remain as it is, with only 20 percent supporting legalization.

Party divide

Party affiliation opens up another fault line.

About 76 percent of Republicans do not want the existing marriage law changed, while 17 percent do. Among independents, 62 percent want marriage to remain the union only of a man and woman.

DFLers form the bulk of the support for legalization, with 66 percent favoring a change in the law. Only 27 percent prefer the current law to remain.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said he does not put much stock in polls. “It’s no secret that Minnesotans are pretty divided on the subject,” he said. “Members are going to do what they think personally, based on what their constituents are telling them.”

Bakk said that fellow senators, not poll numbers, will decide whether the measure progresses. If it fails to meet crucial committee deadlines, it will have to wait until next year.

A spokeswoman for a group pushing to block same-sex marriage said the poll results strengthen the group’s central argument: that the voters’ decision to reject the constitutional amendment was not a mandate for the other side to seek legalization.

“The poll certainly helps highlight that the issue of the constitutional amendment is very separate from redefining marriage,” said Autumn Leva of Minnesota for Marriage.

Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families, which is leading the effort to legalize same-sex marriage, said the group’s research shows that most Minnesotans want gay and lesbians to be allowed to marry and that an even larger majority believes the change will have no effect on them personally.

“Minnesotans are having a conversation about marriage,” Carlbom said. “I think at the end of this conversation, the Legislature and the people of Minnesota will be at a place where they don’t think it should be illegal to marry the person you love.”


Baird Helgeson • 651-925-5044

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