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Voters in AZ, other battleground states, overwhelmingly support marriage equality

By: - September 20, 2022 4:06 pm
LGBTQ rights

Joseph Fons holding a Pride Flag, stands in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building after the court ruled that LGBTQ people can not be disciplined or fired based on their sexual orientation June 15, 2020. Photo by Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

While federal efforts to protect same-sex marriage have slowed, Arizonans report high levels of support for marriage equality. 

As much as 69% of Arizonans agree that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry legally, according to a new poll from the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group. 

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The survey looked at eleven swing states, including Arizona, and found that voters who signaled support for a law to protect marriage equality far outnumbered those against the idea – 64% approved compared to just 36% who opposed it. Women were the subgroup with the greatest percentage in favor of such a law, at 69%, but men weren’t far behind, with 58% of them approving. 

The right to marry regardless of sexual orientation is currently protected under the landmark 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. But the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June put other high court decisions based on the right to privacy in jeopardy, especially as the newly conservative court voiced an interest in revisiting them.

Proponents argue that voters widely approve of protecting marriage equality and attempts to eliminate it are out of step with majority opinion. 

“In the aftermath of the Dobbs ruling, many couples fear for the future of marriage equality. That’s why it is more important than ever to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, and reflect the voice of the 71% of Americans nationwide who support marriage equality,” said Joni Madison, Interim President of the Human Rights Campaign. 

The Respect for Marriage Act seeks to head off future marriage equality revocations from the high court by requiring all states to recognize marriage certificates between LGBTQ+ couples, whether or not the marriage was performed elsewhere. A vote for the act was pushed until after the midterms in order to attract Republicans who fear alienating their base during the election season. 

But even among communities previously against marriage equality, support is beginning to supersede opposition. A Gallup poll conducted last year found that 55% of Republicans were in favor of same-sex marriage — a first for the party which had previously shown consistently low scores. Similarly, 55% of Christians registered support for a law to protect marriage equality, according to the HRC poll. 

Support isn’t confined to younger age groups, either. The Gallup survey found that six in ten voters 55 and older approved of allowing same-sex couples to marry. 

Voters across demographics share a strong approval for codifying the right to same-sex marriage. Conservative interest in dismantling protections for marriage equality doesn’t reflect the constituency, according to the Human Rights Campaign, and passing the Respect for Marriage Act should be prioritized in recognition of that. 

“A strong majority of the public is in favor of allowing LGBTQ+ people to marry those they love,” said the campaign, in a statement about the poll. 

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Gloria Rebecca Gomez
Gloria Rebecca Gomez

Gloria Gomez joined the Arizona Mirror in August 2022. Prior to that, she wrote for the Mirror as the UA School of Journalism’s Don Bolles Fellow. She has written for the Arizona Daily Star, the Arizona Republic and worked at the Arizona Daily Wildcat. She graduated in 2022 with bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science, with a Spanish minor. She’s a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

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