A poll conducted in late October found one-third of Iowa voters are opposed to any step that grants legal status to same-sex couples. University of Iowa political science professor, David Redlawsk, help direct the survey that asked what should happen if the Iowa Supreme Court rules for gay marriage. Redlawsk says it means the idea of gay marriage is still a step too far for most Iowans.
Redlawsk says they gave people three choices, banning any type of same-sex relationship, civil union or gay marriage, and about 29% support that. The middle option was to ban gay marriage but accept civil unions, which had 27% support. The third option had 35% of people accepting the decision of the court to approve gay marriage.
The poll, though, found support for gay marriage would get a boost if the state’s high court rules in favor of it. Redlawsk says the poll found the big movement would be in the middle, as the independent or moderate voters would be about 14 points more likely to support gay marriage. Redlawsk says this often happens when the Supreme Court issues an opinion.
Redlawsk says a court ruling in favor of gay marriage would give a "stamp of approval to that position." "Granted it’s still not majority support, but it’s significantly higher if we get a ruling in that direction," Redlawsk says.
Redlawsk also says the poll found a majority of Iowa voters under age 30 favor gay marriage. He says more than 50% of voters under 30 favor gay marriage and another 20% support civil unions. The poll was conducted before the election, from October 19th to the 22nd. The Iowa Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on the case December 9th. A summary of the poll is on-line at the University of Iowa’s website.