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Arkansas poll addresses hot-button issues, including gay unions

A recent poll of Arkansas residents deemed likely to vote solicited their views on three distinct topics. We note the results here, including the interesting findings concerning one subject area that might command special interest for some of our readers.

We precede the findings with a quick preliminary note on the poll's makeup and methodology. The survey of 520 likely voters targeted a statewide audience and was conducted via the joint efforts of Talk Business magazine and a Hendrix College researcher.

The results reveal that, on the one hand, many Arkansas voters are quite willing to embrace an innovative program such as the "private option" that steers money from the Affordable Care Act to private health care exchanges. The goal of such a program is to enable lower-income residents to have ready access to medical care.

Poll results show state residents are more resistant to change in other areas, with one media report on the findings stating that the data on abortion laws and same-sex marriage reveal the "conservative bent" of voters.

More than half of respondents favor making it harder for women seeking an abortion to obtain one.

And only 21.5 percent of respondents say that gay couples should have the same marriage rights as heterosexual partners.

Talk Business notes that the results on gay marriage underscore a singularly conservative view in Arkansas when compared with the country as a whole, with Americans generally "shifting views on marriage equality consistently and fairly swiftly."

Notwithstanding the conservatism that emerges in the poll, it should be noted that an additional 24 percent of respondents agree that gay couples should be allowed to form domestic partnerships.

Overall, that means that about 45 percent of respondents support some level of legal recognition for same-sex relationships, either through domestic partnerships or civil marriages.

Individuals and couples with questions regarding same-sex or nontraditional family-related issues in Arkansas can receive candid, confidential and knowledgeable advice from a Little Rock family law office that is deeply experienced in helping GLBT clients.

Source: The City Wire, "Poll: Arkansans may support private option, split on gay marriage," Jan. 21, 2014

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