More Texans back gay marriage than oppose it

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Support for gay marriage continues to grow among Texas voters, with more supporting marriage equality than opposing it, a new poll shows.

Yet as support grows – 44% of Texas voters back it versus 41% who oppose it, according to a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll – the results show that voters are conflicted over marriage equality even as the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to legalize gay marriage. 

Via Texas Tribune:

“Attitudes probably are changing in Texas, but they’re changing slowly,” said Jim Henson, co-director of the poll and head of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. “Opinion among Republicans is changing more slowly than it is in the rest of the country. There is a gender gap. There is an urban-suburban-rural difference. But age is the big one.”

Last year, the same poll showed a 47% to 42% divide against gay marriage, with a Texas Tech poll reporting 48% of voters favoring gay marriage and 47% opposed. In April, a Williams Institute study found that 51% of resident backed gay marriage, similar to numbers found in a survey last month of Harris County residents. A UT/Tribune poll released on Tuesday discovered that Texas voters agree that LGBT people face “a lot” of discrimination.

The UT/Texas Tribune poll also found that 45% of voters agree that businesses should be required to serve LGBT people, with 41% opposed. 

Via Texas Tribune:

Similar fractures appear on the business services question, but some of the numbers stand out. For instance, while black voters are split 38 percent to 39 percent on the gay marriage question, 56 percent strongly favor requiring businesses to provide services to gays and lesbians and only 20 percent say businesses should be allowed to refuse service.

“When you put ‘allowed to refuse service’ in there and it looks like discrimination, you’re going to get that kind of movement among blacks and Hispanics,” Henson said. “It looks like a refusal of accommodation of a public service. When you provide for freedom of religion, you set off alarms for some Republicans. Different groups are reacting differently to different cues.”

When gay wedding bells do reach Texas, they'll pack quite an economic punch.

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