Poll: Utah (Utah!) Now Split Evenly on Whether Gay Marriage Should Be Legal

A car flies the gay pride flag in protest past the Mormon Conference center during the 179th Semi-Annual General Conference of the Mormon church on Oct. 3, 2009, in Salt Lake City.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

Ten years ago, the voters of Utah joined 10 other states in a glorious cause: amending their state constitutions to bar gay marriage. Utah’s Amendment 3, which not only defined marriage traditionally but prohibited marriage benefits for any other kind of domestic union, passed by a 66–34 landslide. More Utahns would vote for Barack Obama four years later than voted for gay marriage in 2004.

Things change. A new Salt Lake Tribune poll of Utah, four weeks after a court struck down Amendment 3, finds the state divided 48–48 on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, and totally decided—72–25 in favor—on letting gays form domestic partnerships. Sixty-five percent of Mormons, and 64 percent of Republicans, now favor the partnerships that most of them voted to ban.

None of Utah’s current representatives in Congress, not even retiring Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, believe gay marriage should be legal.