New Poll: Ohioans Split on Gay Marriage

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The Public Religion Research Institute released a poll this week showing Ohioans are evenly split on gay marriage. 

47 percent of Ohioans both support and oppose gay marriage, Six percent did not respond to the question. 
The poll shows a shift from Election Day 2004 when 62 percent of Ohio voters approved an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as being between one man and one woman. 
Gay rights activists like Equality Ohio executive director Elizabeth Holford, found the poll encouraging.
"It shows that Ohioans have moved on some issues and frankly, it shows that Ohioans are about fairness, particularly about non-discrimination," Holford said. "Nearly 7 in 10 support a law that protects the LGBT community from discrimination in the workplace. That's important. That's about fairness."
Despite 68 percent of Ohioans showing support for anti-discrimination laws in the work place, even more appeared to have a misconception about those same laws. 
84 percent of Ohio Voters believe it is illegal under Ohio law to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are a member of the LGBT community. 80 percent believe it is currently illegal under federal law. 
Public Religion Research Institute CEO Dr. Robert Jones said this was the most surprising result of the poll.
"I think maybe the most surprising finding is this finding that about 8 in 10 Ohio voters think that Ohio and the federal government already prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation which currently they do not," Jones said.  
Holford said the lack of this protective laws could lead to a negative impact on the workplace
"In Ohio, you can be fired. You can be fired for being gay, but you can be fired because somebody thinks you're gay. And when you break that down, that is not a positive thing for the workplace," Holford said. "We all work hard. We all want to have our jobs. And no one wants to work in fear of being fired. It creates a disruptive and unequal." 
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On Monday, Equality Ohio will be holding a 3-city press conference in Cleveland, Cincinnati and on the steps of the statehouse in Columbus to announce a historic action for equality in Ohio.
Several prominent legislators including U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are expected to attend the events.