Could marriage laws across the country be changing even sooner than we all anticipated? According to The New York Times, a CNN poll this week found that 51 percent of people believe that marriages between gay and lesbian couples "should be recognized by the law as valid." Only 47 percent of people polled were opposed to the idea of same-sex marriages.
Other polls have also reflected a shift in general attitude that calls for the legalization of same-sex marriage. The first credible poll to show a majority of people in support of gay marriage was a Washington Post poll in April 2009. Since then, more sources have confirmed this trend.
The slight majority support for gay marriage comes after decades of public opinion firmly against same sex marriage in this country. Yet even with more people in favor of gay marriage, it looks like activists seeking marriage equality will still have a way to go achieve any change in the marriage laws in the U.S.
Arizona is still the only state to ever reject a gay marriage ban when the issue came up on voter ballots. The first ballot initiative was defeated in 2006. However, Arizona voters did eventually change their minds and approve a same-sex marriage ban in 2008.
Despite Arizona’s ban on gay marriage, the state does have domestic partnership registries in some cities that give same-sex couples certain rights that they would also get in a marriage. Couples who register as domestic partners in Phoenix, for example, have rights to visitation with their registered partner in any health care facility located within the city of Phoenix.