Texas voters are not ready to say “I
do” but they are warming up to recognizing gay and lesbian
Lyceum's third annual poll reveals that Texans support legalizing
gay unions by a whopping 57%. But when asked specifically about gay
marriage, only a quarter of respondents agreed.
Pollsters asked respondents their
opinion on granting civil unions for gay couples and gay marriage. They did not include a domestic partnership, a vague term that in
Cleveland grants zero guaranteed benefits but nearly equates with marriage
in Washington State.
Thirty-six percent of self-identified
Democrats support gay marriage, the poll found, compared to only 14%
of Republicans. However, Republicans remain a majority in Texas.
“This change in attitude is a
positive outcome, but it is critical that we continue to support
leaders in the private and public sector, and we continue to educate
them about our relationships and the equality they deserve,” said
Paul E. Scott, executive director of Equality
Texas, a group that lobbies the Texas Legislature for gay rights,
in a post on the group's blog.
“Seeing that a majority support some
form of legal recognition, our elected officials should not be afraid
to work for pro-equality measures like hospital visitation, medical
decision authority, employment/housing/public accommodation
nondiscrimination, competitive benefit plans, and safe schools for
all children,” he added.
In 2005, a large majority (76%) of
Texans voted in favor of placing a gay marriage ban in the Texas
constitution. The amendment bans both gay marriage and civil unions.