Iowans are largely either uninterested in or conflicted over the issue of same-sex marriage, according to a poll released Sunday.
The Des Moines Register’s newest Iowa poll of 800 adults found that when asked whether they would vote in favor of a constitutional amendment to rescind marriage rights for gay couples in the state, a slight majority—38 percent—said they would oppose such a measure. Nearly as many respondents (35 percent), however, reported they would support a constitutional marriage ban, and 25 percent said they would abstain from voting on the issue entirely (2 percent were unsure).
When asked whether they supported or opposed the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision to legalize marriage equality, poll respondents demonstrated equally mixed views. While 26 percent said they favored the ruling strongly and 31 percent said they opposed it strongly, a whopping 30 percent said they “don’t care much” at all. 6 percent in either direction said they “just favor” or “just oppose” the decision.
The Register’s analysis of the poll concluded that, “While both sides of the often divisive and emotional issue have kept it front and center in the public discourse during last year’s elections and the current legislative session, a well-populated middle ground means neither supporters nor opponents should claim that a majority of Iowans share their views.”
Iowa Poll Director J. Ann Selzer offered a similar interpretation. “You just have this spider web of mixed-up attitudes on this. The rhetoric is so polarizing that you forget there’s a middle on this, and it’s probably the middle that would make the difference.”
We hope Iowa lawmakers get the message: A ballot measure asking Iowans to take away marriage equality from gay and lesbian couples is senseless, regressive, and not important to voters.