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Majority in Minnesota oppose anti-gay marriage amendment

The Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll, released on Friday, shows that 55 percent of Minnesotans oppose inserting a ban on same-sex marriage in the Minnesota Constitution. Only 39 percent favor such a ban, it found. The poll stands in stark contrast to a survey conducted by anti-gay marriage pollster Lawrence Research and paid for by the National Organization for Marriage, two groups that oppose rights for same-sex couples. A bill to propose such an amendment passed the Minnesota Senate on Wednesday.

The Minnesota Poll asked 806 Minnesotans, “Please tell me if you would favor or oppose amending the Minnesota constitution to ban same-sex marriage.”

Republicans favored a constitutional ban on gay marriage by a margin of 65 percent to 30 percent, while wealthier Minnesotans, those making $75,000 or more, also supported the amendment 50 percent to 46 percent. A plurality of Greater Minnesota respondents opposed the amendment at 49 percent to 42 percent.

Democrats and independents opposed the amendment with 71 percent and 57 percent respectively. And residents of the seven-county metro opposed it 59 percent to 36 percent.

The poll has a margin of error of 4.7 percent.

A poll cite by Republican legislators offered findings that were essentially reversed: 56 percent of Minnesotans said only heterosexual marriages should be recognized in Minnesota and 42 percent said they supported same-sex marriage. The poll, by the National Organization for Marriage, Minnesota Family Council and Lawrence Research, also says that 74 percent of Minnesotans want to vote on the marriage amendment. The poll’s authors have refused to release the questions and other poll data.

Maple Grove Republican Sen. Warren Limmer, the chief sponsor of the bill, has touted that poll’s findings. In a fact-check piece Thursday, MPR’s PoliGraph looked into Limmer’s statement that 78 percent of Minnesotans want to vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

“Limmer’s claim is rooted in a survey commissioned by two groups that have a stake in the debate over same-sex marriages,” MPR’s Catharine Richert wrote. “Because there are no other current polls to compare Limmer’s numbers to, this PoliGraph test rates an inconclusive.”

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