It's been more than a year since the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land. Even though same-sex marriage is now legal, a majority of Utahns say they're still opposed to the practice.
A new UtahPolicy.com survey from Dan Jones & Associates finds 52% of Utahns say they oppose legal same-sex marriage. 42% say they favor same-sex marriage, and 6% remain undecided.
Utahns attitudes are beginning to evolve slowly on the issue. The opposition to same-sex marriage has softened slightly in the year since the Supreme Court ruled. In July of 2015, 58% of Utahns were opposed to same-sex marriage, while 37% were in favor.
Utah Republicans' opposition to same-sex marriage has softened significantly in the past year. In July 2015, 84% of Republicans were opposed to same-sex marriage, including 74% who "strongly" opposed. Now, 72% of Utah Republicans are opposed, with 57% responding they are strongly opposed.
Independent voter attitudes toward same-sex marriage haven't moved much in the past year. Last year 49% were opposed, and 45% were in favor. Now 51% are opposed, and 43% say they're in favor.
A significant part of the opposition to same-sex marriage comes from members of the LDS faith, but most of that opposition has dropped in the past year.
- 74% of "very active" Mormons say they're opposed, including 55% who are strongly opposed. However, that resistance has dropped significantly in the past year. In July 2015, 85% of this group were opposed, and 73% felt they were vehemently opposed.
- 49% of "somewhat active" members of the LDS Church were opposed, and 43% were in favor. One year ago, 53% in this group were against, and 38% were in favor.
- 60% of non-active Mormons say they support same-sex unions, while 35% are opposed. Last year, 70% of this group were in favor, and 25% were against.
- Utah Catholics overwhelmingly favor same-sex marriage. 82% say they're supportive, and 14% are against. Last year 65% were for, and 31% were against.
- Support for same-sex unions among Utah Protestants has fallen in the year since the ruling. Now 53% favor and 41% are against. Last year 65% were for, and 31% were against.
Jones also asked respondents about their personal attitudes when it comes to same-sex marriage. They were asked which of the following statements best fit their circumstances.
- I support it and have several gay friends/acquaintances have gotten legally married (25%).
- I support it, but really don't know anyone of the same sex who have married (13%).
- I don't approve of it, and yet have several gay friends/acquaintances who have married (32% of respondents).
- I don't approve of it, and I don't know anyone well who has gotten same-sex married (24% picked this answer).
- 6% said they didn't know.
The number of Utahns who said they disapproved of same-sex marriage whether they knew anyone who had gotten married legally was a majority in our survey (56%).
In fact, having a friend or acquaintance who entered into a same-sex union didn't seem to affect the opinions of people who are opposed to the practice. Among those who say they are still opposed despite knowing someone in a same-sex marriage include:
- 36% of women
- 35% of those between the ages of 18-24
- 33% of Utahns between 25 and 34 years old
- 40% who are 35 to 44 years old
- 34% of Utahns 55 to 64 years old
- 41% of Republicans
- 33% of political independents
- 51% of those who describe themselves as "very conservative."
- 39% who are "somewhat conservative."
- 50% of "very active" Mormons
Utah Democrats are the most likely to support same-sex unions and have several gay friends or acquaintances who have gotten married.
- 63% are in favor and know someone who has married.
- 23% say they are in support, but don't know of anyone in a same-sex union.
Jones surveyed 614 registered Utah voters between June 8-17, 2016 with a margin of error +/- 3.95%.