July 17, 2008 - American Voters Oppose Same-Sex Marriage Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds, But They Don't Want Government To Ban It

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American voters oppose same-sex marriage 55 - 36 percent, but they don't want government to get involved in banning the practice, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Democrats support same-sex marriage by a narrow 47 - 43 percent margin, while Republicans oppose it 80 - 14 percent and independent voters oppose it 49 - 43 percent.

Women oppose same-sex marriage 51 - 40 percent and men oppose it 61 - 31 percent.

Voters also say 50 - 44 percent that states should not give legal recognition to same-sex marriages performed in other states, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Given three choices, 32 percent of American voters say same-sex couples should be allowed to marry while 33 percent support civil unions for same-sex couples and 29 percent say there should be no legal recognition for same-sex couples.

But voters oppose 56 - 38 percent amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Democrats oppose such an amendment 64 - 30 percent, as do independent voters 61 - 34 percent, while Republicans favor a constitutional ban 56 - 38 percent.

By a narrow 49 - 45 percent margin, voters nationwide say their states should not attempt to ban same-sex marriage.

"American voters oppose same-sex marriage and they don't want to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, but by a narrow margin, they don't want their states to ban it," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "And they don't want to amend the Constitution on this issue. "Given a range of choices, they divide into thirds - for gay marriage, for civil unions, for a complete ban."

Looking at the U.S. Supreme Court and social issues, American voters narrowly disapprove 43 - 39 percent of the job the Court is doing, the lowest rating in five years of Quinnipiac University surveys on the Court and the first time the Court has received a negative score. Voters say 42 - 33 percent that the Supreme Court is moving in the wrong direction.

While 33 percent of voters say the Court is "about right," 25 percent say it is too liberal and 31 percent say it is too conservative.

A total of 87 percent say a President's power to appoint Supreme Court justices is "very important" or "somewhat important" in their vote this November.

By a 63 - 33 percent margin, American voters support the 1973 Roe v Wade decision. But Americans remain divided on the issue of abortion:
  • 19 percent say abortion should be legal in all cases;
  • 38 percent say it should be legal in most cases;
  • 24 percent say it should be illegal in most cases;
  • 14 percent say it should be illegal in all cases.
By a 54 - 40 percent margin voters nationwide support stricter gun control laws, but voters oppose 78 - 17 percent amending the U.S. Constitution to ban individual gun ownership.

American voters favor the death penalty 63 - 29 percent for persons convicted of murder, but when offered a different choice, 47 percent favor the death penalty for convicted murderers while 44 percent favor life without parole.

By a 55 - 38 percent margin, voters favor the death penalty for a person convicted of raping a child. Women and men are consistent in their support.

American voters support 53 - 41 percent giving money to faith-based organizations to help them run social programs. But voters say 77 - 16 percent groups which receive federal funds can not discriminate by hiring only members of their own faith.

"Most Republicans are leery of gun control; most Democrats are for it, but nobody wants a Constitutional amendment to ban guns," Carroll said. "Should President Bush's support of federal money for faith-based organizations survive his time in the White House? A small majority think so, more Democrats than Republicans," Carroll said.

From July 8 -13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,783 voters nationwide, with a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the United States Supreme Court is handling its job?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 39%     46%     34%     41%     46%     33%     42%     32%
Disapprove              43      35      49      41      40      45      41      53
DK/NA                   18      19      17      19      13      22      17      15
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the United States Supreme Court is handling its job?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Jul 17  Aug 16  May 3   Dec 7   Jul 27  May 3   Jul 17
                        2008    2007    2007    2005    2005    2007    2008
 
Approve                 39      45      58      50      50      58      39
Disapprove              43      37      27      32      39      27      43
DK/NA                   18      17      15      17      11      15      18
 
19. Do you think the United States Supreme Court is moving in the right direction or the wrong direction?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Right direction         33%     44%     25%     35%     40%     27%     35%     28%
Wrong direction         42      34      51      37      41      43      41      43
DK/NA                   25      22      24      28      19      29      23      29
 
TREND: Do you think the United States Supreme Court is moving in the right direction or the wrong direction?
                        Jul 17  Aug 16
                        2008    2007
 
Right direction         33      39
Wrong direction         42      37
DK/NA                   25      25
 
 
20. The next President may have the opportunity to make several nominations to the Supreme Court. How important is the appointment of Supreme Court Justices in your vote for President this year - very important, somewhat important, or not important at all?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Very important          48%     55%     49%     42%     50%     47%     46%     54%
Somewhat important      39      32      41      42      36      41      40      35
Not important at all    12      12       9      15      14      10      12      10
DK/NA                    1       1       2       1       -       2       1       2
 
TREND: The next President may have the opportunity to make several nominations to the Supreme Court. How important is the appointment of Supreme Court Justices in your vote for President this* year - very important, somewhat important, or not important at all? * 8/16/07 = "next" year
                        Jul 17  Aug 16
                        2008    2007
                                
Very important          48      52
Somewhat important      39      36
Not important at all    12      11
DK/NA                    1       2
 
 
21. Do you think the Supreme Court is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Liberal                 25%     44%     12%     25%     27%     24%     27%     22%
Conservative            31      13      51      25      31      32      29      38
About right             33      36      27      39      36      31      34      27
DK/NA                   10       6      11      11       6      13       9      12
 
TREND: Do you think the Supreme Court is too liberal, too conservative, or about right? * All Adults
                        Jul 17  Aug 16  Mar 5
                        2008    2007    2003*
                                
Liberal                 25      20      19
Conservative            31      29      26
About right             33      37      46
DK/NA                   10      13      10
 
 
22. Is your opinion of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts favorable, unfavorable, mixed or haven't you heard enough about him?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Favorable               17%     33%      7%     16%     22%     12%     19%      2%
Unfavorable              7       2       9       6       7       6       7       4
Mixed                   18      13      22      20      20      17      19      15
Hvn't hrd enough        57      51      60      57      50      63      53      77
REFUSED                  1       -       1       1       1       1       1       2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts favorable, unfavorable, mixed or haven't you heard enough about him?
                        Jul 17  Aug 16
                        2008    2007
                                
Favorable               17      21
Unfavorable              7       9
Mixed                   18      21
Hvn't hrd enough        57      49
REFUSED                  1       1
 
 
23. Which comes closer to your point of view? A) In making decisions, the Supreme Court should only consider the original intentions of the authors of the Constitution or B) In making decisions, the Supreme Court should consider changing times and current realities in applying the principles of the Constitution?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
A)Original intentions   40%     59%     27%     40%     46%     35%     42%     30%
B)Changing times        52      35      64      53      48      55      50      62
DK/NA                    8       6       9       7       6      10       7       8
 
TREND: Which comes closer to your point of view?: A) In making decisions, the Supreme Court should only consider the original intentions of the authors of the Constitution or B) In making decisions, the Supreme Court should consider changing times and current realities in applying the principles of the Constitution. * All Adults
                        Jul 17  Aug 16  Jul 27  May 25  Mar 5
                        2008    2007    2005    2005    2003 *
                                
A)Original intentions   40      43      44      42      39
B)Changing times        52      48      50      51      54
DK/NA                    8       9       6       8       7
 
 
24. Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Legal all cases         19%     11%     24%     20%     16%     21%     19%     20%
Legal most cases        38      29      44      38      36      39      38      33
Illegal most cases      24      32      17      27      28      21      24      26
Illegal all cases       14      23      10      10      13      15      14      14
DK/NA                    5       4       5       5       7       4       5       7
 
TREND: Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?
                        Jul 17  Aug 16  May 3   Dec 7  Jul 27  May 25  Mar 10
                        2008    2007    2007    2005   2005    2005    2005
 
Legal all cases         19      21      17      19     20      18      19
Legal most cases        38      36      37      38     37      37      35
Illegal most cases      24      24      26      25     24      27      24
Illegal all cases       14      13      13      14     12      14      15
DK/NA                    5       6       7       4      7       5       6
 
 
25. In general, do you agree or disagree with the 1973 Roe versus Wade Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to an abortion?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Agree                   63%     43%     77%     65%     59%     66%     61%     73%
Disagree                33      53      19      30      37      29      34      21
DK/NA                    5       4       4       4       4       5       4       5
 
TREND: In general, do you agree or disagree with the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to an abortion? * All adults
                        Jul 17  Aug 16  Dec 7   Jul 27  May 25  Mar 5
                        2008    2007    2005    2005    2005    2003*
 
Agree                   63      62      63      65      63      62
Disagree                33      32      32      30      33      35
DK/NA                    5       6       5       6       5       3
 
 
26. In general, do you support or oppose same-sex marriage?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Support                 36%     14%     47%     43%     31%     40%     37%     25%
Oppose                  55      80      43      49      61      51      54      68
DK/NA                    9       5      10       8       8       9       9       7
 
 
27. Which would you prefer? Do you think same-sex couples should be allowed legally to marry, should be allowed legally to form civil unions but not marry, or should not be allowed to obtain legal recognition of their relationships?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Marry                   32%     14%     44%     32%     26%     37%     32%     29%
Civil unions            33      35      30      37      36      30      34      23
No recognition          29      45      21      26      32      26      29      40
DK/NA                    6       6       6       5       6       7       6       8
 
                        SameSexMarriageQ26
                        Supp   Opp
                        
Marry                   76%     4%
Civil unions            21     40
No recognition           1     51
DK/NA                    2      5
 
 
28. Do you think states should give legal recognition to same-sex marriages performed in other states or not?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     44%     19%     58%     48%     38%     49%     44%     38%
No                      50      74      37      46      57      44      50      60
DK/NA                    6       7       5       5       6       7       6       2
 
 
29. Would you support or oppose a law in your state that would ban same-sex marriage?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Support                 45%     64%     32%     45%     48%     42%     45%     48%
Oppose                  49      31      62      50      47      51      49      47
DK/NA                    6       5       6       5       6       7       7       5
 
30. Would you support or oppose amending the United States Constitution to ban same- sex marriage?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Support                 38%     56%     30%     34%     41%     35%     36%     51%
Oppose                  56      38      64      61      54      58      58      43
DK/NA                    6       6       6       5       5       7       6       6
 
TREND: Would you support or oppose amending the United States Constitution to ban same-sex marriage?
                        Jul 17  Nov 22  Dec 15  Jul 24  Mar 25
                        2008    2006    2004    2004    2004
                                
Support                 38      43      43      39      41
Oppose                  56      53      53      55      51
DK/NA                    6       4       4       6       8
 
 
31. Do you support or oppose stricter gun control laws in the United States?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Support                 54%     32%     72%     51%     43%     65%     50%     70%
Oppose                  40      63      23      43      54      28      45      26
DK/NA                    5       4       5       5       4       7       6       4
 
                        Gun
                        OwnersQ38
 
Support                 37%
Oppose                  57
DK/NA                    6
 
 
32. Would you support or oppose amending the United States Constitution to ban individual gun ownership?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Support                 17%      9%     24%     14%     10%     23%     12%     34%
Oppose                  78      88      69      79      87      69      82      63
DK/NA                    6       3       7       6       3       8       6       3
 
                        Gun
                        OwnersQ38
 
Support                  7%
Oppose                  90
DK/NA                    3
 
 
33. (Split Sample A) Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom       
 
Favor                   63%     75%     54%     66%     68%     58%       
Oppose                  29      16      38      27      25      33        
DK/NA                    8       9       8       6       7       9        
 
TREND: (Split sample A) Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted or murder? * All adults
                        Jul 17  Dec 14  Jun 12  Mar 5
                        2008    2004    2003*   2003*
 
Favor                   63      62      65      64
Oppose                  29      29      25      29
DK/NA                    8       9      10       7
 
 
34. (Split Sample A) The Supreme Court has recently ruled that a mandatory death penalty for child rape is unconstitutional. Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of child rape?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom      
 
Favor                   55%     61%     50%     55%     54%     55%      
Oppose                  38      29      46      39      38      39       
DK/NA                    7      10       4       6       9       5       
 
 
35. (Split Sample B) Which punishment do you prefer for people convicted of murder: the death penalty or life in prison with no chance of parole?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom        
 
Death penalty           47%     60%     34%     51%     56%     39%        
Life/No parole          44      32      58      35      35      51         
DK/NA                    9       8       7      14       9      10         
 
TREND: (Split sample B) Which punishment do you prefer for people convicted of murder: the death penalty or life in prison with no chance of parole? * All adults
                        Jul 17  Dec 14  Jun 12  Mar 5
                        2008    2004    2003*   2003*
 
Death penalty           47      42      44      46
Life/no parole          44      46      45      47
DK/NA                    9      12      11       8
 
 
36. Do you support or oppose giving federal money to faith-based organizations, such as churches or synagogues, to help them run social programs?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Support                 53%     52%     57%     52%     51%     56%     49%     76%
Oppose                  41      43      39      43      46      38      45      21
DK/NA                    5       6       5       5       4       6       6       3
 
 
37. Do you think that these faith-based organizations that receive federal money should be able to discriminate in favor of hiring people of their own faith?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     16%     27%      9%     15%     19%     13%     17%     14%
No                      77      67      84      77      75      78      76      79
DK/NA                    7       7       7       8       6       9       7       7
 
 
38. Do you or does anyone in your house own a gun, or not?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
  
Yes                     44%     55%     35%     48%     54%     36%     48%     27%  
No                      54      43      63      51      44      62      50      72   
DK/NA                    2       2       1       2       2       2       2       1