GAY UNIONS Poll: 62% of Ohioans support ban
Getting the issue on the fall ballot depends on the validity of signatures.
COLUMBUS (AP) -- Sixty-two percent of Ohioans responding to a poll by The Columbus Dispatch support a proposed state constitutional amendment that would limit marriage to one man and one woman.
Supporters say the proposed amendment reinforces the state's Defense of Marriage Act that took effect earlier this year. The act denies some state benefits to unmarried employees' partners.
Twenty-six percent of respondents were opposed to the proposed amendment, according to the poll published Monday.
Voters in Missouri passed a similar gay marriage ban earlier this month with 71 percent in favor, and several other states will consider the issue in the general election.
For the proposal to get on the fall ballot in Ohio, 322,899 of 392,000 signatures that the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage submitted to the secretary of state's office have to be valid. Supporters said they have gathered 100,000 more signatures.
Opponents are challenging the petition signatures. Advocates of gay marriage and domestic-partner benefits say a ban would deprive an entire class of people of their rights and would make Ohio less attractive to businesses and workers.
The Dispatch poll used the same language approved earlier this month by the Ohio Ballot Board. The mail survey of 3,176 randomly selected Ohio voters was conducted Aug. 18 through Aug. 27. It has a margin of sampling error of 2 percentage points.
Support is divided among backers of President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry.
Among Bush supporters, the proposal is ahead 84 percent to 9 percent. It is opposed 43 to 40 by those behind Kerry. The proposal was supported by voters in all regions of Ohio -- especially in the southeast -- and from all demographic groups except Jewish respondents and those who said they have no religion.