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Majority of Wyomingites Now Support Same-Sex Marriage

November 20, 2014

A majority of Wyomingites now support same-sex marriage, according to a recent University of Wyoming survey.

When asked to agree or disagree with the statement “Homosexual couples should be allowed to get married,” 53 percent of survey respondents indicated agreement. Thirty-nine percent disagreed.

“This represents a notable shift in public opinion,” says Jim King, UW professor of political science and a co-director of the survey. “Two years ago, 55 percent of Wyomingites disapproved of same-sex marriage and 40 percent approved. We’ve seen a reversal in those numbers.”

Public support of same-sex marriage has increased steadily over the past decade, he says.

“When we first asked this question in 2004, 27 percent of Wyomingites indicated approval,” King says. “Every two years, approval would increase by a few percentage points. The rise from 40 percent approval in 2012 to 53 percent approval this year is a significant jump.”

The findings on same-sex marriage in the Wyoming survey mirror patterns on the topic in national polls.

“The numbers always vary a little,” King says, “but, nationwide, polls have shown increasing support over the years and now indicate around 55 percent of Americans approving.”

The dominant factor to explain individual attitudes on the issue is political ideology.

“Self-identified moderates and liberals support same-sex marriage by substantial margins while conservatives remain opposed,” King observes. “However, there also is a difference across age groups, with younger adults being more supportive of same-sex marriage than senior citizens, regardless of the person’s ideology.”

The U.S. District Court’s ruling that overturned the Wyoming state law banning same-sex marriage was announced while interviews were being conducted, but this did not seem to affect the survey results. King says the proportion of survey respondents supporting and opposing same-sex marriage did not change after the court’s decision was issued.

The statewide telephone survey of 768 Wyoming residents was conducted in October by UW’s Survey Research Center and was sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Wyoming Public Radio and the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.


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Chad Baldwin

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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