Poll Indicates Ohioans Aren't Ready to Overturn State's Ban on Gay Marriage

According to a new poll from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, Ohioans are still split on the idea of same sex marriage, and if the election were held today, would not vote to overturn the state's ban on gay marriage.

The survey of 1,001 adults, of which 883 were registered voters, 47 percent believe same sex couples should be allowed to marry. Another 47 percent do not believe that same sex couples should be permitted to marry. Six percent were unsure or did not respond to the question.

When questioned about a potential state constitutional amendment to repeal the one that banned same sex marriage nearly one decade ago, 51 percent answered that they would not support such a measure. 45 percent said that they would vote to overturn the ban on gay marriages.

The pollsters explained:

"There is also some indication that those opposed to a constitutional amendment might have an advantage in turning out voters on this issue. Ohio voters who oppose amending the constitution to allow same-sex couples to marry are nearly twice as likely as those who favor the amendment to say that same-sex marriage is a critical issue facing the state," 31 percent to 16 percent, respectively.

A majority of those who support the measure state that the issue is less important than others.

A measure to overturn Ohio's ban on gay marriage would do best in the Cleveland area, and surrounding Northeast Ohio counties, where 51 percent would support a repeal. It would do the worst in Ohio's northwest region, which includes liberal-leaning Toledo but also a number of very conservative and heavily Catholic areas of the state.

The poll's margin of error is 3.7 percentage points. The survey was conducted by phone from August 8 to 15.