From Equality Texas:
The Equality Texas Foundation envisions a state where all Texans are treated equally, with dignity and respect. Equal rights for all are fundamental to our society and are long overdue. Everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, deserves to be treated fairly and equally.
Many of these equal rights issues are currently in the national spotlight. Most recently and visibly is the ratification at the ballot box of the freedom to marry in Maine, Maryland and Washington.
The Equality Texas Foundation commissioned the national polling firm Glengariff Group, Inc. to conduct a random sample update of the baseline poll of registered Texas voters conducted by Glengariff in 2010 on eleven rights as they pertain to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.
The updated poll clearly shows that our vision of a state of equality for all Texans is, indeed, a mainstream value shared by the vast majority of Texans. This concrete data demonstrates a bipartisan shared vision of equality that crosses all demographic lines, political party affiliation, race, age, and geographic location.
Texas voters now support all eleven rights issues that pertain to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens. There was a statistically significant increase in support among five of the eleven issues, including:
• 80.0% of voters support a guaranteed right to make end of life medical decisions for a partner; an increase in support of 4.9%.
• 70.2% of voters support a legal right to inherit possessions if there is no will in place; an increase in support of 4.8%.
• 65.7% of voters support extending domestic partnership benefits to government/public university employees; an increase of 3.4%.
• 52.0% of Texas voters now support recognizing the marriages of same-gender couples from states that currently allow marriage; an increase in support of 3.6%.
The largest increase in support came among Texas voters who now support allowing lesbians and gays to get married. By a margin of 47.9% to 47.5%, a very minor plurality, Texas voters now support the freedom to marry. This percentage represents an increase of 5.2% in support since September, 2010. Support for the freedom to marry increased by 11.3% among Independents, increased by 15.7% among African Americans, increased by 14.3% among 18-29 year olds, and increased by 11.1% among those over age 65.
The results of this poll are truly encouraging. We are closer than ever to building a state of equality in Texas.
Check out the Quick Facts page for thumbnail summaries of the polling responses.
Click here for full polling results for The Equality Poll 2013.
Obviously, I find results like this to be encouraging. Note that if you go into the full report, there is majority support for marriage equality among African-Americans and Latinos – remember how President Obama’s embrace of marriage equality was going to doom him among minority voters? – it’s only white voters that haven’t gotten on board sufficiently yet. As with polls everywhere else, support for equality among the under-30 crowd is sky high. Keep all this in mind when you remember that there are still Republican elected officials who want to deny local governments the right to extend health benefits to gay couples. You only get one chance to be on the right side of history. Read the poll and feel good about where we’re headed, even if there are still many obstacles to getting where we need to be.
UPDATE: Texpatriate notes that this poll shows a higher level of approval of marriage equality than two other recent polls have shown. It’s possible this one may overstate the level of support, but I note that the PPP poll at least offered “civil unions” as an option; 61% of respondents in Texas supported either marriage or civil unions. The difference in results may stem in part from different question wording and answer choices.