WISH-TV/Ball State Hoosier Survey shows growing opposition to marriage amendment

November 14th, 2013 at 10:11 am by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

Opposition to a permanent ban on same sex marriage in Indiana is growing according to the exclusive WISH-TV/Ball State Hoosier Survey.

A year ago the Hoosier Survey showed that a majority of adults in Indiana opposed the proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage.  The new Hoosier Survey shows that majority has grown.

It also finds that Hoosiers remain split on the issue of legalizing gay marriage.
48% support the idea and 46% are opposed, a statistical tie.  Just 6% have no opinion.

But when it comes to creation of a constitutional ban on gay marriage the numbers shift.  Just 38% support the ban while 58% are opposed.  A year ago 54% were opposed.

“The whole trend is against it” said Ball State political scientist Ray Scheele, “and that’s been true over the last couple of years.”

Next year state lawmakers will consider sending the marriage amendment that would create the constitutional ban to a statewide referendum.  The General Assembly has already approved it once.

At Freedom Indiana, executive director Megan Robertson believes the Hoosier Survey could have a bearing on the second vote.

“I think legislators are genuinely trying to figure out where people stand on the issue, “said Robertson, “and I hope that this impacts them to understand that folks are against this amendment.”

Supporters of traditional marriage led by Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute point to other polls with different results.

“Actually the poll that matters is the election,” said Smith.  “We think that the people should decide this question.  It’s so important and so fundamental to the kind of state we’re going to be that we think we should just let the people decide.”

Legislative leaders are deliberately keeping quiet about the gay marriage debate.  However, the changing public sentiment has already had an effect on one state representative.  Shelbyville Republican Sean Eberhart has announced that he will vote against the marriage amendment.

Eberhart voted for it 3 years ago. He declined to be interviewed for this story.

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