State Ballots & Polls
Updated 27 November 2013
ARIZONA • On 4 June 2013, Bisbee, AZ became the first city in the state to offer civil unions for same-gender couples. The state attorney general has no objections to the measure. Tucson, Phoenix, and Flagstaff already offer domestic partner registries, and Tempe and other municipalities are considering similiar civil union ordinances. On 17 June 2013, Republican strategist Tim Mooney (who aided UT’s campaign against same-gender marriage in 2004, and who helped elect TX Governor Rick Perry (R) by placing the Green Party on the ballot to split Democratic voters) launched Equal Marriage Arizona, a 2014 ballot initiative, and initially collected 9,000 signatures and $100,000 in donations (half from former NM governor Gary Johnson). EMA must collect 259,213 valid petition signatures by 3 July 2014, and get 51% of the vote on 4 November 2014. On 18 June 2013, Tucson, AZ councilors approved an ordinance allowing same-gender civil union. On 30 August 2013, The Arizona Capitol Timesreported that “A ballot initiative to legalize gay marriage that is being pushed by the political right has been suspended due to suspicion from the LGBT community about the campaign timing and the motives of the campaign’s backer.” Log Cabin Republicans Arizona Chairwoman Erin Simpson said that Equal Marriage Arizona suspended its campaign indefinitely. On 17 September 2013, Why Marriage Matters Arizona (led by Equality Arizona, Human Rights Campaign, and ACLU Arizona) launched a grassroots campaign to repeal the AZ constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage in 2016.
ARIZONA POLLS • In 2012, a Public Policy Polling survey reported 44% supporting same-gender marriage, and 45% opposed. On 13 May 2013, Behavior Research Center surveyed 700 residents, including 438 registered voters, and reported that 55% support same-gender civil marriage, 35% don’t, and 10% are unsure.
ARKANSAS • On 16 November 2012, the 400-member group, Arkansans For Equality, applied for state incorporation so that they can begin to repeal the 2004 constitutional ban on same-gender marriage. Another group, Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality, met with attorneys the same week to work on a ballot initiative for 2016, which requires valid petition signatures from 78,133 residents. On 27 June 2013, AFE proposed a constitutional amendment to only repeal the 2004 ban on same-gender civil marriage. On 10 July 2013, AIME proposed an amendment to repeal the ban and also legalize same-gender civil marriage. On 13 August 2013, the AR attorney general approved the wording of the AFE proposal. On 7 November 2013, AR Attorney General Dustin McDaniel approved the AIME ballot measure to repeal the existing ban on same-gender civil marriage and also to legalize such unions. The group will gather petition signatures to put the issue on the 2016 ballot.
COLORADO • On 11 February 2013, a hearing was held on Ballot Proposal #1 (marriage equality). On 7 August 2013, Ballot Proposal #43 (to allow same-gender civil marriage) cleared a ballot question title board hearing. The draft petition is scheduled for proposal to the CO Secretary of State on 19 August, and if approved, would be used to collect 90,000 valid signatures for the 2014 ballot, which is expected to require about $5 million and thousands of volunteer hours.
FLORIDA • On 21 June 2013, Republican strategist Tim Mooney (who aided UT’s 2004 campaign against same-gender marriage, and who helped elect TX Governor Rick Perry (R) by placing the Green Party on the ballot to split Democratic voters) launched Equal Marriage Florida, and Ballot Initiative 13-01 (Marriage Equality and Religious Freedom), which requires 68,314 valid signatures for Attorney General review, and 683,149 valid signatures to appear on the ballot. At least 13 groups oppose any 2014 or 2016 ballot as premature: ACLU of Florida, Aqua Foundation for Women, LGBT Visitor Center, Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Our Fund, Equality Florida, Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, Pride Center, Safe Schools South Florida, Pridelines Youth Services, Greater Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. On 13 September 2013, Equal Marriage Florida suspended its ballot campaign until 2016, after suspicion about the effort’s origins, strategy, and the motives of GOP strategist Tim Mooney, and Mooney and FL Campaign Manager Vanessa Brito refused all requests for interviews.
INDIANA • House Joint Resolution 6, if added to the state constitution via the 2014 ballot, would outlaw same-gender marriage, civil union, and domestic partnership (same-gender marriage is already banned by IN law). On 7 February 2013, Republican lawmakers from both houses of the IN state legislature announced that they will not pursue the measure in 2013, but may revive it in 2014 after the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decisions have been issued. Legislators overwhelmingly voted in favor of the ban in 2011, but it has to pass the House and Senate again in 2013 or 2014, and then the ballot question would go to voters in 2014. Indiana Equality Action Executive Director Rick Sutton says his group is concentrating on the public vote in 2014. On 21 August 2013, human rights and business groups launched a campaign to defeat the proposed amendment which would ban same-gender civil marriage in the IN constitution, and which would affect 614 state laws. On 3 December 2013, 13 IN mayors (7 Democrats and 6 Republicans from Anderson, Angola, Bloomington, Carmel, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Hammond, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Lafayete,
South Bend, Valparaiso, West Lafayette) opposed banning same-gender civil marriage via the state constitution.
INDIANA POLLS • On 13 December 2012, Ball State University and WISH-TV polled 602 Indiana adults regarding same-gender marriage, and reported that 45% support it, 45% oppose it, and 10% have no opinion. Separately, 55% favor civil union, and 54% oppose a constitutional ban on same-gender marriage, while 38% support a ban. On 24 September 2013, Freedom Indiana surveyed 800 registered voters about a proposed constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, and reported that 46% oppose it, and 43% support it. Separately, 64% oppose changing the IN constitution, but 36% do not. Also, 75% support some legal recognition for same-gender couples. On 9 October 2013, the anti-LGBT Indiana Family Institute surveyed 504 likely IN voters, and reported that 62% support a constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, 33% oppose a ban, and 6% are undecided. On 14 November 2013, WISH-TV surveyed IN residents regarding a constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, and reported that 58% oppose it, and 38% support it. Separately, regarding marriage equality itself, 48% support it, 46% oppose it, and 6% have no opinion.
IOWA • On 24 October 2013, the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice, National Institute on Money in Politics, and Justice at Stake reported that activists spent $833,000 ($466,000 anti-LGBT + $367,000 pro-LGBT) to persuade voters whether to retain an Iowa Supreme Court judge who in 2009 ruled in favor of same-gender civil marriage. On 6 November 2012, voters retained Justice Wiggins by a 55%-to-45% margin.
MICHIGAN • On 31 January 2013, the Marriage Michigan PAC announced it will collect over 300,000 signatures and raise $10 million so that in November 2014 voters can (a) repeal the 2004 same-gender marriage ban and (b) pass marriage equality. Meanwhile, Equality Michigan, the state’s largest LGBT advocate group, is running public education campaigns in planning for a 2016 ballot measure. On 29 May 2013, state senators introduced 4 bills to advance recognition of same-gender couples: Joint Resolution W would let MI voters repeal the constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage; Resolution 64 would urge repeal of the federal Defense-of-Marriage Act; Bill 405 would repeal other limitations on same-gender relationships, and Bill 406 would recognize same-gender marriages from states where they are already legal. On 24 June 2013, 4 state Representatives introduced 3 pieces of legislation: (1) a constitutional amendment to repeal the 2004 same-gender civil marriage ban; (2) a bill to recognize same-gender civil marriages from elsewhere; and (3) a bill to legalize same-gender civil marriage in MI.
MICHIGAN POLLS • In November 2012, Michigan State University polled 1,015 adults, who reported 56% support for same-gender marriage, 39% opposition, and 5% undecided. On 14 May 2013, the Detroit News surveyed 600 registered voters and reported that 57% support marriage equality (but 37% don't), a 12% increase in support since 2012. On 8 June 2013, EPIC-MRA surveyed 600 likely MI voters and reported that 55% support same-gender civil marriage, 41% do not, and 4% are undecided. On 5 September 2013, the University of Michigan polled 2,568 heterosexual sophomores, juniors, and graudate students about marriage rights, and reported that 68% support marriage equality, 22% oppose it, and 10% are neutral.
NEVADA • On 2002, NV banned same-gender marriage via its constitution. In 2009, the legislature created domestic partnerships. On 22 April 2013, a joint resolution to repeal the state’s same-gender marriage ban and approve same-gender marriage was approved by the NV Senate, and on 23 May 2013, it was approved by the state Assembly, on a 27-to-14 vote. If both houses approve it again in 2015, it will go to voters in 2016.
NEVADA POLLS • A 2012 Public Policy Polling survey showed 47% support same-gender marriage, and 42% oppose it. On 25 February 2013, the Retail Association of Nevada polled 500 likely voters and reported that 54% favor upgrading civil unions to same-gender marriage, but 43% oppose it. On 2 October 2013, Retail Association of Nevada surveyed 500 likely NV voters regarding repeal of the constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, and reported that 57% favor repeal, and 36% do not, with 7% unaccounted for.
OHIO • A petition for a ballot question to repeal Ohio’s 2004 constitutional ban on marriage equality was approved on 4 April 2012. On 16 April 2013, Lucas County, OH commissioners unanimously voted to support repeal of OH’s same-gender marriage ban. On 9 May 2013, the OH Democratic Party officially launched a fund-raising campaign to repeal the constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage. FreedomOhio co-founder Ian James said his group will easily collect the 385,245 valid, registered, voter signatures. That number equals 10% of recent voters, and must consist of at least 5% of recent voters from at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, at least 125 days before the November 2014 election. On 9 September 2013, Why Marriage Matters Ohio launched a statewide campaign for marriage equality (sponsored by ACLU, Equality Ohio, Freedom to Marry, and Human Rights Campaign) but not in 2014. On 12 November 2013, Freedom to Marry Ohio said it had gathered the minimum 385,245 signatures needed to put equal marriage on the November 2014 ballot, but would continue trying to collect a total of 1 million signatures from OH’s 12 million residents.
OHIO POLLS • On 12 December 2012, Quinnipiac University reported that among 1,165 registered Ohio voters, 47% oppose marriage equality, 45% support it, and 9% refuse to answer. Among African-Americans, 55% are in favor, and 36% are opposed. On 24 March 2013, the Columbus Dispatch newspaper surveyed 1,003 random OH adults regarding same-gender civil marriage, and reported that 54% support it, 40% oppose it, with 6% unaccoutned for. On 19 April 2013 Quinnipiac University reported a poll of 1,138 registered Ohio voters, in which 48% support same-gender marriage but 44% don’t. On 19 August 2013, Public Policy Polling surveyed 551 OH voters and reported that 48% support marriage equality, 42% do not, and 10% are unsure. On 3 September 2013, Public Religion Research Institute surveyed 1,001 adults representative of OH residents on same-gender civil marriage, and reported 47% in favor, 47% opposed, and 6% unsure or refusing. Asked about certainty that their position is the correct one, 57% are absolutely certain, 25% are fairly certain, and 12% are not too certain or not at all certain. Regarding a ballot measure to amend the constitution to allow same-gender civil marriage, 45% favor it, 51% oppose it, and 4% don’t know or refused.
OREGON #1 • On 25 July 2013, the coalition Oregon United For Marriage began collecting 116,284 petition signatures for two nearly identical ballot measures to revise the constitution to allow same-gender marriage: Initiative 7 (Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative) and Initiative 8 (Right to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative), sponsored by Basic Rights Oregon. Passage of either one would make OR the first state to repeal a constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage. The current domestic partner law gives same-gender couples all state-level rights of marriage, except for the word “marriage” and federal marriage-related benefits. On 23 April 2013, Oregon United For Marriage and Basic Rights Oregon launched their 2014 campaign with a 4-minute online video. On 11 September 2013, the Portland Business Alliance endorsed the OUM campaign. On 4 October 2013, the Oregon Business Association, which represents over 300 businesses, endorsed the Freedom-to-Marry & Religious Protection Initiative, following the Portland Business Alliance. Volunteers have collected over 90,000 of the 116,284 petition signatures required to place same-gender civil marriage on the November 2014 statewide ballot. On 19 October 2013, Intel Corporation, OR’s largest employer, joined Nike, Portland General Electric, Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Business Association, and Oregon Business Coalition to support marriage equality. On 6 November 2013, San Francico non-profit leader Mike Marshall took over leadership of Oregon United for Marriage. On 19 November 2013, Nike created the Nike Equality Political Action Committee, a foundation that raises funds to help Oregon United For Marriage upgrade civil unions to full equality at the ballot box in November 2014. The company and its executives already donated $280,000. On 7 December 2013, Oregon United for Marriage annouced it had collected more than the 116,284 signatures needed to put marriage equality on the 2014 ballot.
OREGON #2 • On 21 November 2013, two anti-LGBT organizations (Friends of Religious Freedom, Oregon Family Council) filed a ballot measure to legalize discrimination against same-gender couples seeking commercial wedding services whenever the discriminators use religion as their excuse. If the wording is approved by state officials, the sponsors would have to gather 87,213 valid signatures to get the measure on the November 2014 ballot.
OREGON POLLS • On 7 December 2012, a Public Policy Polling survey of 614 voters showed 77% want a say on same-gender marriage, 54% would legalize it, and 40% would not, with voters under age 45 supporting it by a 68-to-30 spread. On 29 April 2013, Fox12 and Oregon Public Broadcasting surveyed 500 Oregon voters and reported that 49% support same-gender marriage, 42% oppose it, and 9% are undecided.
VIRGINIA • On 14 January 2013, a Republican-dominated state legislature subcommittee defeated by a 6-to-1 vote a proposal, introduced by delegate Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax County), to begin repealing Virginia’s 2006 same-gender marriage ban. On 18 November 2013, VA state Senator Adam Ebbin and VA state Delegate Joseph Morrissey introduced bills to repeal the 2006 constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage. If lawmakers approve both bills during the 2014 and the 2016 sessions, a voter referendum would occur in November 2016.
VIRGINIA POLLS • On 31 March 2013, the University of Mary Washington surveyed 1,004 adult Virginians and reported that 46% oppose same-gender civil marriage; 45% support it, and 9% don’t know. On 18 April 2013, Roanoke College surveyed 629 Virginians and reported that: (a) 45% support same-gender marriage, but 41% oppose it; (b) 62% want same-gender couples to have the same legal rights as mixed-gender couples, but 28% don’t; and (c) 60% agree that same-gender couples can parent as well as mixed-gender couples, but 27% disagree. On 15 May 2013, the Washington Post surveyed 1,000 adult Virginians, and reported that 56% support same-gender civil marriage, 33% don’t, and 10% have no opinion. On 11 July 2013, Human Rights Campaign and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research surveyed 600 Virginia adults, and reported that 55% support marriage equality, and 41% oppose it. On 18 July 2013, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,030 registered VA voters, and reported that 50% support same-gender civil marriage, and 43% don’t. On 16 Ocober 2013, Christopher Newport University surveyed 944 registered VA voters including 753 likely voters, and reported that 56% oppose VA’s 2006 constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, and 36% favor it.
Send questions and comments to Ned Flaherty: NFlaherty@MarriageEquality.org.