Both supporters and opponents of gay marriage in Indiana are looking to the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the matter once and for all. It’s one of the findings in the WISH-TV/Ball State Hoosier Survey.
Gay marriage has been legal in Indiana for just over two months as the result of a federal appeals court ruling. That follows a battle that lasted more than a decade in the General Assembly and the Hoosier Survey found that support for gay marriage has leveled off.
47 percent favor it. That’s down a tick from 48 percent a year ago, but it’s still a tick above the 46 percent who remain opposed.
Yet Ken Falk, the attorney for the ACLU of Indiana who led the fight for marriage equality, believes the Hoosier Survey has uncovered a temporary circumstance.
“Life has gone on without any sort of problems,” said Falk, “so I think that this is an issue in Indiana that is so new, the idea of legal marriages, that I bet your poll will change very rapidly in the future.”
Curiously, the Hoosier Survey found greater support for gay marriage in other states. 56 percent say that marriages conducted elsewhere should be recognized here with just 40 percent opposed.
Gay marriage opponent Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute said, “That’s an eye opener for me and it suggests that people are gonna be very tolerant and accepting of other state’s decisions about this thing, though it’s a controversial question.”
But here’s the most interesting finding in the Hoosier Survey: more than two-thirds, 71 percent, would like to see the U.S. Supreme Court end the legal wrangling. Just 24 percent like the status quo.
“This has been around now for a long time,” said Ball State professor Ray Scheele, “but i think people are saying it’s time to be resolved.”
That goes for gay marriage opponents. “We think we need a final answer,” said Smith.
And gay marriage supporters. “All along we thought this was an issue that should be resolved by the Court,” said Falk.
But it’s also a matter that may be resolved over time. That’s because our survey found that the support for gay marriage is strongest among young people.
77 percent of those in the 18-to-24 age range support it. That compares to just 30 percent for people 65 and over.