BREAKING: Poll results show broad support for gay rights among Texas voters

An overwhelming majority of registered voters in Texas say they support a significant expansion of gay rights, according to the first-ever in-depth statewide poll on LGBT issues.

The scientific poll commissioned by Equality Texas surveyed voters on 12 key issues, from civil unions to workplace discrimination to school bullying. On 10 of the 12 questions, a majority of respondents said they would support an expansion of gay rights. The only two issues on which the LGBT community didn’t receive majority support were same-sex marriage and recognition of same-sex marriages from other states.

“Equality Texas envisions a state where all Texans are treated equally, with dignity and respect,” the group said in a press release. “This first-ever statewide poll on these rights clearly shows our vision is already shared by the vast majority of Texans. This concrete data demonstrates a bipartisan shared vision that crosses all demographic lines: political party affiliation, race, age and geographic location.”

Equality Poll 2010, conducted by The Glengariff Group Inc. and released earlier today, surveyed 1,000 registered voters between Aug. 29 and Sept. 2. The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

Here’s a snapshot of key findings:

To read a summary of the poll, go here. To read the full poll data, go here. We’ll have much more on the poll in Friday’s Dallas Voice.

—  John Wright

4th consecutive poll shows majority of Texans support either civil unions or gay marriage

The 2010 Texas Lyceum poll was released Tuesday, and for the second straight year, more than half of respondents said they support some form of legal relationship status for same-sex couples — whether it be civil unions or marriage.

According to the poll of 725 adult Texans from Sept. 22-30, 24 percent support civil unions, 28 percent support same-sex marriage, and 40 percent oppose both civil unions and gay marriage. That means a total of 52 percent support some form of relationship recognition, with 8 percent apparently not responding to the question.

This support for relationship recognition is actually down from the 2009 Lyceum poll, when 57 percent said they supported either marriage or civil unions, and only 36 percent opposed both.

But it marks the fourth consecutive statewide poll to show that a majority of Texans support either civil unions or marriage.

As Texas Politics Project Director Jim Henson put it in February: “This seems to be rapidly becoming not a question of what’s in public opinion. What’s in public opinion is becoming kind of a settled issue. Now the question is one of leadership and politics.”

—  John Wright

Poll: Opposition to gay marriage waning in Nevada

Associated Press

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.

—  John Wright