A new poll released Tuesday suggests that a majority of Illinoisans are hoping that their state legislature will move to legalize same-sex marriage this year -- and are more passionate in that belief than opponents of such legislation. In a Crain's/Ipsos poll of 600 Illinois adults, 50 percent of respondents supported the marriage equality bill that the state Senate approved last week. On the other side of the issue, only 29 percent of respondents opposed the bill, while 20 percent said they were unsure or had mixed feelings about the issue. Perhaps more interestingly, marriage equality supporters reported feeling more strongly about their position on the issue than those opposed to the bill in the online poll. Thirty-seven percent of those who support the bill said they felt "strongly" about the matter, while only 19 percent of those who oppose it described their opposition as "strong." "The differing splits are within the survey's [4.7 percent] accuracy range but may indicate that lawmakers face as much or more political risk voting 'no' as they do 'yes,'" Greg Hinz wrote of the Crain's poll's findings. The new poll comes on the heels of another poll released last week by Southern Illinois University's Paul Simon Policy Institute that also reported support for marriage equality among registered voters in the state nearing majority support in numbers that drastically outpace those of only three years ago.
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