April 23, 2009 - More New Jersey Voters Back Same-Sex Marriage, Qunnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Back Civil Unions 2-1, Gay Adoption Almost 2-1

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By a 49 - 43 percent margin, New Jersey voters support a law that would allow same-sex couples to marry, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. And voters support 63 - 30 percent the existing law establishing civil unions for same-sex couples.

A proposed same-sex marriage law wins 64 - 29 percent support from Democrats and 50 - 41 percent from independent voters, but Republicans oppose it 67 - 26 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Men oppose it 48 - 44 percent while women back same-sex marriage 53 - 39 percent.

Black voters oppose same-sex marriage 54 - 38 percent, while white voters support it 50 - 42 percent.

Voters who attend religious services once a week oppose same-sex marriage 65 - 28 percent while voters who attend services less frequently support it 61 - 30 percent.

A December 7, 2006, Quinnipiac University poll, conducted as the New Jersey Legislature was debating the civil union law, showed voters opposed same-sex marriage 50 - 44 percent.

The existing civil union law wins narrow 51 - 43 percent support from Republicans, while Democrats support it 70 - 23 percent and independent voters support it 66 - 27 percent.

"Two years after New Jersey's civil union law went into effect, sentiment for allowing same-sex marriage in the state has shifted from six points against to six points in favor," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Support for the same-sex civil union law has risen dramatically and New Jersey voters do not see gay marriage as a threat to traditional marriages between a man and a woman. Support for allowing gay couples to adopt children is nearly 2 - 1."

New Jersey voters reject 66 - 30 percent the argument that same-sex marriage "is a threat to the traditional marriage between a man and a woman." Even Republicans disagree with this claim 51 - 46 percent, as do those who attend religious services weekly, 52 - 43 percent.

Same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children, voters say 60 - 32 percent. Republicans oppose such adoptions 47 - 43 percent while people who attend services weekly split 47 - 46 percent.

When New Jersey voters are offered three choices:
  • 42 percent say same-sex couples should be allowed to marry;
  • 30 percent say same-sex couples should be allowed to form civil unions, but not marry;
  • 20 percent oppose any legal recognition of same-sex relationships.
From April 14 - 20, Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,222 New Jersey registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.1 percentage points.

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

27. Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Support              49%    26%    64%    50%    44%    53%    50%    38%
Oppose               43     67     29     41     48     39     42     54
DK/NA                 8      7      8      8      8      8      8      8
 
                                          Philly        ATTEND SERVICES
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Weekly Less
 
Support              54%    52%    46%    45%    46%    28%    61%
Oppose               35     40     47     47     47     65     30
DK/NA                11      8      8      8      7      7      9
 
TREND: Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                     Apr 23  Dec 7   Nov 8
                     2009    2006    2006
 
Support              49%     44      41
Oppose               43      50      50
DK/NA                 8       5       9
 
 
28. Do you approve or disapprove of New Jersey's new law establishing civil unions for same-sex couples?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              63%    51%    70%    66%    61%    65%    67%    48%
Disapprove           30     43     23     27     32     28     27     42
DK/NA                 7      6      7      7      7      7      6     10
 
                                          Philly        ATTEND SERVICES
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Weekly Less
 
Approve              62%    67%    64%    58%    61%    48%    73%
Disapprove           29     25     31     36     31     46     20
DK/NA                 9      7      5      6      8      6      7
 
 
29. 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                42%    21%    53%    43%    37%    46%    43%    26%
Civil unions         30     39     21     33     34     26     32     28
No recognition       20     34     15     16     22     19     18     34
DK/NA                 8      6     11      7      8      9      7     12
 
                                          Philly        ATTEND SERVICES
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Weekly Less
 
Marry                47%    44%    42%    36%    39%    23%    53%
Civil unions         25     30     32     30     30     35     27
No recognition       18     17     22     24     22     33     13
DK/NA                 9      9      4     10      9      9      8
 
 
30. Do you support or oppose allowing same-sex couples to adopt children?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Support              60%    43%    68%    62%    52%    66%    61%    52%
Oppose               32     47     25     30     38     26     31     40
DK/NA                 9     10      7      7     10      8      9      8
 
                                          Philly        ATTEND SERVICES
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Weekly Less
 
Support              65%    63%    60%    53%    57%    47%    68%
Oppose               29     29     31     39     33     46     23
DK/NA                 6      9      9      8     10      8      9
 
 
31. Some people say that same-sex marriage is a threat to traditional marriage between a man and woman. Do you agree or disagree?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Agree                30%    46%    21%    28%    32%    28%    30%    34%
Disagree             66     51     72     70     64     67     66     57
DK/NA                 5      4      6      2      4      5      3      9
 
                                          Philly        ATTEND SERVICES
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Weekly Less
 
Agree                24%    30%    29%    32%    32%    43%    22%
Disagree             69     65     66     64     66     52     74
DK/NA                 7      5      4      4      2      5      4
 
 
32. Some people say that not allowing same-sex couples to get married is discrimination. Do you agree or disagree?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Agree                50%    30%    64%    51%    46%    54%    50%    47%
Disagree             45     66     32     44     51     40     46     49
DK/NA                 5      4      4      4      4      6      4      5
 
                                          Philly        ATTEND SERVICES
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Weekly Less
 
Agree                51%    54%    44%    50%    48%    35%    59%
Disagree             42     41     52     46     48     60     36
DK/NA                 7      5      4      4      4      5      4
 
 
33. Would you say you attend religious services every week, almost every week, once or twice a month, a few times a year, or never?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Every week           28%    38%    26%    23%    23%    31%    26%    39%
Almost every week     9      9      9      9      8     10      8     16
Once or twice a mon  12     10     13     11     11     12     11     19
A few times a year   29     28     30     32     32     26     32     18
Never                19     13     19     22     22     16     20      7
DK/NA                 3      2      3      3      3      3      3      -