Friday, May 25, 2018
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Half of Ohioans back gay marriage

Poll finds 87% support for medical pot, 51% for recreational use

COLUMBUS — An even 50 percent of registered voters say they support same-sex marriage just a decade after Ohio voters approved a constitutional ban on such marriages, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll released Monday.

Forty-four percent oppose gay marriage.

Supporters of an effort to put a new question on the ballot to overturn the ban are trying to qualify it for the Nov. 4 general election ballot, even though there’s disagreement in the gay community as to whether enough has changed in Ohio to try it now.

Women and voters under the age of 30 are more likely to support same-sex marriage while men narrowly oppose it.

“Given that younger voters support same sex marriage almost 3 to 1, it would seem to be just a matter of time,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Gay-rights activists have succeeded in recent months in using the courts to whittle away at Ohio’s ban. A recent federal court ruling required gay spouses to be recognized on death certificates.

Another case pending in the same court asks for the marriages to be recognized on birth certificates.

The Quinnipiac Poll showed that 87 percent of Ohio voters support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, but support drops off to 51 percent when it comes to possessing a small amount for recreational use.

It remains unclear whether any of various proposed ballot issues to legalize medical marijuana or industrial hemp will make it to Ohio’s ballot as initiatives have in other states such as Colorado.

“Ohioans narrowly favor legalizing pot for personal use with women opposed while men support the idea,” Mr. Brown said. “Almost nine in 10 in both genders think marijuana should be legal for medical uses.

“No one should be surprised that support for legalization is strongest among younger voters,” he said.

Meanwhile, registered voters questioned between Feb. 12 and Feb. 17 said they disapprove with how Republican Gov. John Kasich has handled the issue of abortion. Thirty-four percent disapprove compared to 26 percent who said they approve.

But 40 percent said they don’t have an opinion on the subject.

That raises the question of how effective Mr. Kasich’s leading Democratic opponent, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, will be in making a case that the governor and fellow Republicans have waged a war on women.

Last year’s budget passed by Republicans and signed by Mr. Kasich included a variety of abortion-restriction measures. Among other things, the budget mandated that abortion clinics must have emergency care agreements in place with hospitals while simultaneously forbidding hospitals that receive public funding from entering into them.

Thirty-four percent of those questioned said abortion should be legal in Ohio in most cases; 27 percent said it should be illegal in most cases.

At the two extremes, 19 percent said it should be legal in all cases and 14 percent said it should be illegal in all cases.

The poll of 1,370 registered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

Contact Jim Provance at: or 614-221-0496.

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