2/9/05 Jim Seroka, 334-844-4781 (jseroka@auburn.edu)
David M. Granger, 334/844-9999 (grangdm@auburn.edu)

MARRIAGE AMENDMENT FOCUS OF MUCH ATTENTION AND SUPPORT AMONG MAJORITY OF ALABAMIANS

AUBURN - A majority of Alabamians strongly support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. The issue is being debated in the current legislative session.

This is among the findings of the winter Ask Alabama public opinion survey, conducted by the Center for Governmental Services at Auburn University. Ask Alabama releases monthly results of polls on topics of interest to Alabamians.

According to Ask Alabama's January telephone survey of 624 Alabama residents, nearly three quarters of Alabamians (74%) consider the issue of a constitutional amendment banning gay or lesbian marriages in the State to be important. However, the issue generates concern for a greater proportion of those who identify themselves as conservative than those who are moderate or liberal. A similar division exists between those identifying themselves along party lines. "While 69% percent of Republicans strongly support the measure, Democrats are more equally divided," says poll director Jim Seroka.

This difference helps explain the current debate among legislative party leaders on the timing of a public vote on an amendment. "Democratic leaders sense the issue will mobilize more Republicans to vote. Thus, if the measure is included on a general election ballot, it could affect the outcome of other partisan races on the ballot," noted Seroka.

Other findings of the Ask Alabama poll on a same sex marriage ban include:

In the period from July 2004 to February 2005, Alabamians have become more supportive of a gay marriage amendment (54 percent strongly support an amendment, up from 48 percent).
The issue dominates the attention of Alabamians; only 3 percent surveyed indicate they have no opinion on a same sex marriage amendment.

Complete results of the Ask Alabama poll on "Attitudes about Same Sex Marriage Amendment" can be found at www.askalabama.org. The poll had a sample size of 624 resident Alabamians 19 years of age or older, and an estimated margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Ask Alabama telephone surveys on issues of interest to Alabamians are conducted quarterly, and poll results will be released monthly.

(Contributed by Jim Seroka.)

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