In 2009, a public opinion poll showed that a mere 29% of Texans supported same-sex marriage. What a difference six years and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June make. The Texas Lyceum Public Opinion Poll released Wednesday shows that support for same-sex marriage reveals has jumped to 49%.
The same poll showed that Texans are more open to legalization of marijuana, too. Support stood at 33% in the Texas Lyceum’s 2011 survey. Now 46% support legalization, and among those who oppose it, 57% support decriminalization of possessing small amounts of marijuana. That question was not asked in the 2009 survey.
The Texas Lyceum, a nonprofit, nonpartisan leadership organization, conducted a telephone poll of 1,000 adult Texans from Sept. 8-21. In addition to opinions on marijuana and same-sex marriage, pollsters asked about spending and policy priorities – from border security and immigration to football and climate change.
The movement to legalize marijuana gained significant ground this year when Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that allows certain epilepsy patients to treat symptom with cannabis oil – as long as it’s low in THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. Other bills that would have reduced criminal sentencing for marijuana possession and allowed other diseases and disorders to be treated with marijuana failed.
Daron Shaw, professor at the University of Texas at Austin, is a Lyceum alum who oversees the poll with research Director Joshua Blank.
Here are some additional findings of the survey outlined by a news release:
“Immigration remains the most important issue facing the state and Texans support lawmakers’ increased spending on border security.
“Experience with race-based discrimination shifts greatly depending on the racial or ethnic background of the person polled.
“Despite national poll numbers revealing 40% of Americans would discourage their children from playing youth football, 72% of Texans would encourage children to play football.
“Texans are not overly concerned about climate change, but a majority (67%) would support new regulations on private companies.”
Texas Lyceum provides a poll summary, for more broad survey information, but the full results of the 2015 polls are available for anyone to dig into here. Click here to learn more about how the poll is conducted.
Tomorrow, Texas Lyceum will release a “second batch of data focused on the U.S presidential race, job approval numbers, right track/wrong track and Texans’ attitudes about the state and national economies.” The results will be available at www.texaslyceum.org.
*Top image: Elizabeth Mosely (left) and Gabby Bonar celebrate their marriage application at the Bexar County Courthouse with their 5-month-old son, Langston. Photo by Scott Ball.