State Capitol News
3:00 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Support for Gay Marriage Grows in Arizona

A new survey today shows increasing public support for gay marriage — or at least something like it. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy
Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy
Credit Associated Press

The report from Public Policy Polling finds a plurality of Arizonans say gays should be able to wed. But, what is surprising is another 43 percent said while they cannot support “marriage” for same-sex couples, they believe in civil unions that provide many of the same legal benefits and recognition. And that includes more than half of those who said they voted for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012. On the other side of the equation, the survey found fewer than one out of five Arizonans opposed to any form of recognition of a gay couple’s relationship. But, Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy, said the poll does not represent how Arizonans will vote two years from now when supporters of same-sex marriage hope to repeal the ban her organization pushed through in 2008.

“The media frenzy, the popular culture has been in overdrive the past few months to make the case for same-sex marriage, for redefining marriage. We at the Center for Arizona Policy argue nothing is inevitable. We will continue to make the case for why marriage should be defined as only the union of one man and one woman. And we remain hopeful that if we make that case, the Arizona public perception will be with us,” Herrod said.

But, former Attorney General Grant Woods, one of the organizers of the 2016 initiative, said the trend portends a victory — assuming the U.S. Supreme Court has not already ruled that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional.