Washingtonians support equality

Timothy Kincaid

January 8th, 2012

The residents of the state of Washington support equality. With a strong margin.

The University of Washington, Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality operates the Washington Poll, a non-partisan telephone survey of registered voters. They have a relatively decent accuracy record and can be considered a reputable measure of the attitudes of the voters in the state.

In October they conducted a poll of the attitudes of Washingtonians about marriage equality and are finally releasing the results. The key finding is:

Next year the legislature could pass a law allowing gay and lesbian couples to get married. If that happens, there could be a referendum in which voters would be asked to approve or reject the law. If such a referendum were held today:
Would you vote YES — that is, to keep a law in place allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry OR would you vote NO, against the law — to make it so that gay and lesbian couples could not marry?

47% – Yes – keep law in place – strongly
8% – Yes – keep the law in place – not strong
7% – No – against the law – not strong
31% – No – against the law – strongly
7% – Undecided

The breakout was skewed pretty much as one might expect with Seattle area residents supporting marriage by 63% with Eastern Washington dropping to 43%. Democrats were 84% supportive with Republicans at 24% and Independents at 54%.

When presented with multiple options, support for full equality dropped.

43% – full equality
22% – everything but the name (status quo)
15% – limited domestic partnership benefits
17% – no rights at all
3% – don’t know

However, the poll illustrated something fascinating. Many of those who prefer full legal rights without the status of marriage would still support the legislature if they voted for marriage and would vote to uphold such a bill if brought to referendum. Even a quarter of those who prefer limited rights or no rights at all would vote to uphold the decision of the legislature.

With this sort of evidence, the legislature should feel confident in supporting equality.


January 9th, 2012

These polls always make me wonder what kind of person would take away right that are already given.


January 9th, 2012

Those are the numbers PRIOR to NOM, the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church pouring in tens of millions of dollars worth of lies and distortions scaring 10 to 20% of the ignorant and fearful to change their mind from supporting us to voting against us. It’s happened in every state where polls showed us winning (California, Maine, etc.) and, as of yet, our side has been completely inept in countering the assault.


January 9th, 2012


I really think that in 2012 the claims that NOM make are going to fall on deaf ears. It will now have been 3 years since the gay marriage sweep of 2009, and nothing has happened.


January 9th, 2012

I’m not too confident. While young people generally support marriage equality, they are not always very good at voting.


January 9th, 2012

Stefan, I wish that that were true but we said the same thing during the Maine campaign yet NOM’s tactics played just as well as they did years earlier in California.


January 10th, 2012


On a Presidential election year young people will be out to vote. I believe Washington has a pretty high voter turnout too.


The only reason we lost in Maine was the fact that it was an off year election, which are always sqewed to the right. The other side simply showed up to vote in greater numbers then our side. Again, with 2012 being an election year it will be different.

I know Prop 8 was on an election year, but that was because No on 8 ran a piss poor campaign.


January 11th, 2012

Hoping you’re right but fearing you’re not.

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