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Minnesota Gay Marriage Poll Shows Difference In Opinion

Posted at: 03/06/2013 9:45 PM
Updated at: 03/06/2013 10:43 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- It’s an issue coming up across the country. Should gay people have the right to marry? Right now it’s an issue Minnesota lawmakers are looking into and a new poll shows how people living in the state feel on the matter.

This Star Tribune poll questioned people across Minnesota. It looked at a number of different areas and found distinct differences based on where people live and how old they are.

It was a topic of discussion last election when Minnesota voters rejected the amendment to ban gay marriage in the constitution, and now a bill to legalize gay marriage is on the table. "So as we see this, probably I think it’s fair to call it a trend, then maybe the legal community, the legislative community, comes on board with that or a least has the conversation more openly," said political analyst Shane Baker.

That conversation was taken to the streets, in a poll that surveyed 800 Minnesotans; 53 percent are against legalizing gay marriage, 38 are for it, the rest are undecided.

"Honestly with me being gay I think everyone should have equal rights, like back in the day blacks and whites couldn’t get married or women didn't have the right to vote, but all that got changed," said Rochester resident Wyatt Hurley.

"I don't see that there's a problem with it. I mean, if it’s their own personal life I don't think it should affect anybody else," said Rochester residents Elvira Pedic.

Others who are not in support of the bill reached out to us saying, they're not against someone being gay, but marriage should be between a man and woman.

That same poll looks to see where these votes are mostly divided, for example urban versus rural voters; 73 percent living in outstate Minnesota are against it. "Urban dwellers tend to be much more pro-gay rights, where rural people aren't necessarily against gay rights, but it’s more unfamiliar probably, that they’re like, ‘hey I don't know why we need to switch things," said Baker.

The poll also looked at age group. More than half between ages 18 to 34 said they're for legalizing gay marriage. "When you're older you grew up in a different time where's it’s more strict about gay marriage and now it’s more accepting," said Pedic.

We spoke with about a dozen people on the issue,  those against gay marriage preferred not to go on camera.