The Chicago Family Law Blog

Chicago Tribune Poll: City's Residents Split On Gay Marriage

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While a majority of Chicago-area residents responding to a Chicago Tribune poll said they support civil unions for same-sex couples, the region remains divided on same-sex marriage, the Tribune reported. The newspaper and radio station WGN, which co-sponsored the poll, surveyed 800 heads of household from the six-county Chicago region.

You don't have to be an Illinois family law attorney to know that gay and lesbian couples currently don't have the right to get married in the state, but the laws are constantly in flux and public opinion is slowly shifting in favor.

Robert Young, interviewed by the Tribune, said he supports same-sex marriage even though his religion looks down upon such unions:

"I think it's wrong, but I don't want to force my morality on other people. I think that's not my position to judge. That's somebody else's job."

But his willingness to look past his own religion and embrace the separation of church and state, governed by the US Constitution, puts him in the minority. Forty-six percent of suburban respondents oppose legalizing same-sex marriage, 40 percent approve and 14 percent said they have no opinion.

It's evenly split when the responses of city residents are included, with 42 percent in favor and 42 percent opposed (15 percent undecided).

Yet, 54 percent of suburban respondents said they favor the legalization of same-sex civil unions, while 33 percent oppose it. The results are roughly the same when city residents are factored in and are similar to national surveys.

Rick Garcia, political director for Equality Illinois, said he's encouraged by the overall trends:

"Years ago, there wasn't that much support for same-sex marriage. So what's encouraging in this poll is that we see the numbers are now neck-in-neck, and we see that it's trending in favor of instead of away from same-sex marriage."

Related Resources:

  • Domestic Partnership or Civil Union: "Everything but Marriage" Considered by States like Washington (FindLaw's Common Law Blog)
  • Find a Divorce Attorney in Chicago (FindLaw)
  • Appeals Court Stays Gay Marriage in CA (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life Blog)

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