LAS VEGAS — Most Nevadans still oppose legalizing gay marriage in the state, according to a statewide poll released Saturday, Aug. 14.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal and KLAS-TV survey found that 46 percent oppose same-sex marriage, 35 percent support it and 19 percent were undecided.
That compares with two-thirds of Nevadans who gave final approval in 2002 to a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
The telephone poll of 625 registered voters was conducted Monday through Wednesday, Aug. 9 through 11, by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Candice Nichols, executive director of The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, said the results show a softening of opposition to gay marriage in Nevada.
“We’re seeing the climate changing,” she said. “It’s going to take time, but there’s been a shift and it will keep going forward.”
Pollster Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon agreed: “I just don’t see the rabid opposition that existed five or 10 years ago.”
But Richard Ziser, a local conservative activist and supporter of the 2002 constitutional amendment, said the poll results more likely are just a reaction to the gay marriage issue being on the back burner for now.
“The economy and jobs are what people are concerned about right now,” he said. “If we were out there talking about it and having it out in front, our numbers would pick up again.”
The poll was conducted after a federal judge ruled California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional.