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Poll Shows Utahns Ready for End of Main Street Plaza Debate

Poll Shows Utahns Ready for End of Main Street Plaza Debate

Posted - Jun. 24, 2003 at 9:50 p.m.



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Richard Piatt ReportingLet's end the Main Street Plaza case! That's the overwhelming voice of public opinion, tonight.

It comes after the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will not hear an appeal of a lower court decision, regarding access and free speech on the plaza.

A lot of people want the controversy to go away, acknowledging it is a high-profile community issue.

The Survey USA poll shows 86 percent of the people sampled are aware of the Main Street issues.

Most of the 500 people polled say they know the ACLU is considering a lawsuit over the land swap deal between the city and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

That agreement gives the Church ownership of the easement on the plaza, in exchange for Church land for a community center in the Glendale neighborhood.

ACLU lawyers are looking to see if the deal violates the constitutional requirement that Church and State remain separate.

The poll finds 71 percent, a solid majority, think the ACLU should drop the issue.

About one-fourth of those polled, 26 percent, say they would support a fresh legal challenge by the ACLU.

But the poll shows some Salt Lakers aren't expecting the controversy to go away. Fifty-one percent say the church-and-city compromise effectively ends the debate, while 43 percent say they believe the controversy will likely live on.

The ACLU says it won't decide whether another legal challenge is coming for a couple weeks, at least.

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