Do we dare trust the latest public polling on marriage equality in Utah?
The numbers looks pretty positive: support for marriage has surged to 41 percent, up from the high 20s a year ago. Support for civil unions is up, too: 24 percent.
Only 31 percent oppose any form of relationship recognition.
But before you start celebrating, let’s take a step back and look at the source: David Baker, a gay organizer in Washington DC. He used a Google polling product to gather the data — the first time anyone’s done this in Utah.
That’s a little problematic, statistically speaking, since it’s hard to compare those numbers to the data from other polling outfits. For a more definitive comparison, we’ll need to wait for a survey from one of the organizations that did polling in the past, such as Public Policy Polling or Utah Voter Poll.
And for now, public opinion isn’t helping the couples who want to get married. The US Supreme Court has put licensing on hold while the case works its way through appeal. Utah officials have said that they won’t recognize the marriages that occurred during the window of legality. So for now, things are looking a little bleak in Utah.
But it’s not all bad news. The federal government will recognize those licenses, even if the state that issued them won’t. And there’s more encouraging news: the National Center for Lesbian Rights has joined the case as co-counsel. They have a long track record of smart litigation, so their involvement can only help.