Approval of partnerships with the same rights as marriage outpaces opposition by 13 percent.Montanans views of same-sex domestic partnerships mirror those in the rest of the nation, with support for fairness for all families growing.
A recently released poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for the American Civil Liberties Union, found that 53 percent of Montana voters favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into domestic partnerships.
The change in attitude is occurring at the same time as an increase in the number of same-sex couples in Montana reporting their households to the U.S. Census Bureau. Recently released numbers show 2,295 same-sex households in the 2010 Census - a 54 percent jump since 2000.
Key Highlights of 2011 Polling
• Most Montanans favor domestic partnership. By a 13 point margin, voters in Montana favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into domestic partnerships - 53 percent favor, 40 percent oppose. There is more intensity among those who favor; 35 percent strongly favor, while 29 percent strongly oppose.
• Voters recognize discrimination against gays and lesbians. A 47 percent plurality believe gay people in Montana face a lot of discrimination; only 38 percent think that gays and lesbians in the state do not face much discrimination.
People understand that the lack of legal recognition of same-sex relationships leaves couples extremely vulnerable. In Montana examples of unfairness toward same-sex couples include a woman who was denied bereavement leave when her partner's father died, and another woman who lost her home because she was ineligible for worker's compensation death benefits when her partner was killed in an accident.