State Marriage Watch: Poll Finds Majority Of North Carolinians Support Some Recognition Of Gay Couples

As marriage equality legislation continues to move through the Maryland house, two polls from North Carolina and Iowa find that a majority oppose denying rights to same-sex couples. That and more in today’s State Marriage Watch:

– NORTH CAROLINA: As Republicans in the state propose a constitutional amendment to ban gay unions, a new poll finds that “more than half of North Carolina residents now support legal recognition of same-sex couples, and more than one-quarter believe they should have full marriage rights.” “An Elon University survey released Monday found that only 35 percent of respondents opposed all legal recognition, down from 44 percent when the question was asked two years ago.”

– IOWA: A new poll suggests that a majority of Iowans support same-sex marriage or don’t care one way or the other. “According to the Des Moines Register, when asked whether they favored or opposed the recent Iowa Supreme Court decision that allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry in that state, 30 percent said they just don’t care much one way or the other, while 37 percent opposed or strongly opposed the court ruling and 32 percent favored it or strongly favored it.”

– MARYLAND: A House version of the marriage bill which passed the Senate on Thursday is moving through committee, with a vote expected as early as Tuesday. The full House could vote on the measure by Friday. Opponents of marriage equality are already gearing up to challenge the measure through a voter referendum in 2012, however.

– CALIFORNIA: Imperial County in California, which has stepped in to defend Proposition 8 has filed papers Friday seeking to continue to defend the law. In January, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it could not rule on the constitutionality of the measure until the higher court confirmed the standing of the plaintiffs, which the Supreme Court is now in the process of doing. In a separate document, the court ruled that Imperial County — one of the counties that voted for Proposition 8 and claimed “direct financial interest in assuring that the vote of its residents is defended and ultimately upheld” — lacked standing to appeal the decision.

– WYOMING: The Wyoming House “adjourned without taking action on a same-sex marriage bill that had already passed the state Senate” which would prohibit the state from recognizing gay unions from out of state. House Majority Floor Leader Rep. Tom Lubnau (R) “said he didn’t want to spend hours of floor time debating a bill that didn’t have the votes to pass. The Legislature is set to adjourn next week.” A separate measure that would only recognize marriages between one man and one woman is still pending, but House and Senate haven’t agreed “whether same-sex couples who enter civil unions in other states should be allowed access to Wyoming courts to resolve issues in their relationships.”

– NEW HAMPSHIRE: New Hampshire’s House Judiciary Committee will vote on three separate same-sex marriage bills as early as tomorrow. The committee is expected to recommend holding on to the bills until next year so as to give lawmakers an opportunity to focus on fiscal issues. For highlights from the committee’s public hearing, click here.

For a complete overview of the latest developments in the marriage battleground states of Rhode Island, Maryland, New York, California, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Wyoming, Iowa, and New Mexico, click here.