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Two-thirds believe gay-marriage amendment wrong course, poll says

INDIANAPOLIS - A new poll released Tuesday by Freedom Indiana shows Hoosiers are moving away from a constitutional gay marriage ban.

By 64 percent to 36 percent, voters say amending the Indiana Constitution is not the right way to deal with same sex marriage.

A slight plurality - 46 percent to 43 percent - oppose the amendment.

For comparison, an April 2013 statewide survey by the same polling company showed voters were similarly divided, but with 46 percent in support.

"The message from these results is clear: Hoosiers overwhelmingly support some legal recognition for same-sex couples, and they oppose amending the Indiana Constitution to address the issue of same-sex marriage and rights," said Freedom Indiana campaign manager Megan Robertson.

The poll found almost three-fourths of Hoosiers believe there should be some legal recognition or rights for gay and lesbian couples.

Hoosiers also have deep concerns about the second sentence of the amendment, which would strip additional legal rights from unmarried couples, a press release said.

More than half of respondents would vote against the amendment after finding out that it bans civil unions and might have other consequences.

Freedom Indiana -- a bipartisan organization working to defeat the proposal -- plans to brief legislative leaders on the poll results today.

Both House and Senate Republicans are caucusing today in separate meetings.

In the Senate, members specifically want to discuss the gay marriage constitutional ban, which is expected to be voted on during the 2014 legislative session.

If approved by lawmakers for the second time, it would go to voters for a final say in November 2014.

The statewide survey of 800 registered voters in Indiana was conducted by Bellwether Research for Freedom Indiana between September 17 and 19. Its margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points.

Bellwether is run by Republican pollster Christine Matthews.