Chicagoans split on gay marriage, majority support civil unions

Wed. August 18, 2010 3:23 PM by News Staff

Chicago, IL - A new poll asking Chicago residents their views on legalizing same-sex marriage shows Chicago residents are split evenly on same-sex marriage while a majority support civil unions.

The Chicago Tribune-WGN poll, released Monday, surveyed 800 male and female heads of households from the six-county Chicago area.

46 percent of suburban residents said they opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, while 40 percent approve and 14 percent have no opinion.

The results with city respondents were split at 42 percent for and against marriage equality. 15 percent have no opinion.

"Years ago, there wasn't that much support for same-sex marriage," Equality Illinois public policy director Rick Garcia told the Tribune. "You could barely get to 30 percent. So what 's encouraging in this poll is that we see the numbers are now neck-in-neck, and we see that it's trending in favor of instead of away from same-sex marriage."

When asked about civil unions, 54 percent of suburban residents indicated support and 33 percent opposed.

Gay rights advocates, including Garcia, remain optimistic that civil unions legislation can pass in Illinois if Gov. Pat Quinn is elected in November.

Quinn faces Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady, who not only opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions, but he favors an amendment to the Illinois constitution banning equal marriage rights for LGBT citizens.

The Tribune poll seems to mirror national polls on marriage equality.