Ohio Voters Now Support Same-Sex Marriage

In 2004, Ohio was one of a number of states to enact measures banning same-sex marriage. At the time, many observers attributed President Bush’s victory in the state, and hence his victory in his bid for re-election, to the conservative voters drawn to the polls in the Buckeye State to vote on the measure. Now, though, Ohio’s voters have very different opinions on the issue:

Ohioans have switched sides on the same-sex marriage debate, nine years after banning gay and lesbian nuptials, according to a new survey.

A Saperstein poll, released Sunday, showed that 54 percent of Ohioans now support a new amendment, which would repeal the state’s 2004 measure banning gay marriage and “allow two consenting adults to marry, regardless of their gender,” The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Only 40 percent oppose the new proposal, which, according to the newspaper, would allow religious institutions freedom to choose whether they’ll marry certain couples and protect them should they refuse to preform the marriages.

The state’s “coming out” in support of same-sex marriage follows news that one of the Buckeye State’s senators also had a change of heart. Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who co-sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act, changed his views after learning that one of his sons is gay. The poll was conducted a week before Portman’s op-ed was published.

There’s no word on whether there is actually a serious effort to put this type of measure on the ballot. At this point, it’s likely too late to start mounting an effort to get it on the 2014 ballot, but it could happen in the future.

FILED UNDER: Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ron Beasley says:

    Remember how the polls were skewed and Romney was going to win? Well they are at it again-according to Gary Bauer the polls are skewed and a vast majority actually oppose gay marriage.

  2. Tony W says:

    This is an outstanding example of why we should not have cynical restrictions of human rights passed as constitutional amendments (as has happened in several other states).

    “Conservatives” will still try to pass these laws (ironically under the guise of ‘freedom’), but the constitution’s role is to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. As it is, Ohio law is free to bend to the whims of popular opinion on the matter. If they faced a constitutional amendment, it is much harder to move to the right side of history.

  3. john personna says:

    I’m starting to believe this idea that there are two directions to the party:values feedback loop. Sure, parties pick values to campaign on, but when parties ascend or descend their bundle of values rides with them.

    The GOP bundle is in decline, and so resistance falls, support for gay marriage goes up.

    In is, in part, a reverse causality.

  4. el polacko says:

    ten years ago, the concept of gay couples marrying was not something that many people had ever considered and the reaction was, generally, negative. we have now, however, had nearly a decade of experience with marriage equality in massachusettes and eight other states and several countries around the world have extended the benefits and responsibilitles of marriage to gay couples. we’ve seen that the dire predictions there were made ten years ago (and which are still being made today) of those who oppose marriage equality have not come true. the only result of making marriage licenses available to both gay and straight couples is a lot of happily married gay couples and a lot of happily married straight couples…and life has gone on.

  5. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tony W: While I agree with the spirit of your message, you need to go back and read John Locke again. It would be nice if “… the constitution’s role [were] to protect the minority…,” but it’s actual role is to provide the framework under which the social contract will be enforced. Locke noted that government by the sort of social contract he envisioned is no more moral or ethical than any other form.

    If you want government that protects the minority from the will of the majority (which I seem to remember didn’t work well for black 3/5th of a citizen a couple of hundred years back) then you need to oppose efforts that seek to do the opposite and start electing leaders in Congress, State Assemblies, County and City Councils that will do the same. That will require people that use moral models that look different from those most seem to use now.

  6. Sirkowski says:

    But if gay marriage is legal who are Republican women going to marry?

  7. JWH says:

    I wouldn’t say “vast majority,” but Bauer may have a point: