November 8, 2006 - Voters Prefer Civil Union To Gay Marriage Almost 2-1, Quinnipiac University New Jersey Poll Finds; 34 Percent Would Ban Civil Union
If they had to choose between legislation allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions or a law allowing gay marriage, New Jersey voters prefer civil unions 51 - 28 percent, with 21 percent undecided, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Asked if they support or oppose a law allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions, New Jersey voters support such a law 56 - 34 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Voters oppose 50 - 41 percent a law allowing same-sex couples to marry.

In the civil union or gay marriage question:
  • Catholics prefer civil union 57 - 26 percent, with 17 percent undecided;
  • Protestants prefer civil union 50 - 18 percent, with 32 percent undecided;
  • Jews prefer civil union 53 - 31 percent, with 15 percent undecided;
  • Men prefer civil union 56 - 25 percent, with 20 percent undecided;
  • Women prefer civil union 47 - 30 percent, with 23 percent undecided.
"The voters of New Jersey are sending a clear message to the Legislature - 'no' to gay marriage. This should give lawmakers a clear path to uphold the State Supreme Court's ruling by passing legislation guaranteeing equal rights to gay couples without getting embroiled in the more complicated and more emotional issues of same-sex marriage," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

There is a significant shift in opinions by income and education level between the question on whether voters support or oppose a law allowing civil union and the question on whether they prefer civil union or gay marriage.

In the "support or oppose" question, voters with household income under $30,000 per year oppose a law allowing civil union 51 - 40 percent. Support for such a law grows to 67 - 26 percent among voters with a household income of more than $100,000.

In the "civil union or gay marriage" choice, lower income voters prefer civil union 48 - 23 percent with 28 percent undecided, while higher income voters prefer civil union 57 - 30 percent with 13 percent undecided.

Voters with college degrees support civil union 66 - 24 percent and prefer civil union to gay marriage 54 - 29 percent, with 16 percent undecided.

Voters with no college degree support civil union 51 - 39 percent and prefer civil union to gay marriage 49 - 27 percent, with 23 percent undecided.

From October 30 - November 5, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,181 New Jersey voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 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 additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks or call (203) 582-5201.

2. Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to form civil unions, giving them many of the legal rights of married couples?

               Tot  Prot Cath Jew  Rep  Dem  Ind  Lib  Mod  Con  Men  Wom


Support 56% 39% 59% 70% 42% 65% 58% 84% 62% 31% 57% 54% Oppose 34 50 30 21 50 24 30 11 25 60 33 35 DK/NA 10 11 11 9 8 11 12 5 13 9 10 11

AGE IN YEARS......... COLL DEGREE ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ No Yes <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K Support 70% 61% 52% 39% 51% 66% 40% 51% 65% 67% Oppose 25 30 36 47 39 24 51 38 26 26 DK/NA 6 9 12 14 10 10 9 11 9 7



3. Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?

               Tot  Prot Cath Jew  Rep  Dem  Ind  Lib  Mod  Con  Men  Wom 


Support 41% 26% 41% 50% 23% 53% 42% 73% 44% 16% 40% 41% Oppose 50 66 49 41 72 37 48 21 45 77 52 49 DK/NA 9 8 10 8 5 10 10 6 11 6 7 10

AGE IN YEARS......... COLL DEGREE ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ No Yes <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Support 61% 47% 34% 22% 38% 48% 35% 40% 47% 49% Oppose 35 45 55 67 54 43 61 52 47 44 DK/NA 4 8 10 11 8 9 4 8 7 8



4. The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled that homosexual couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual ones and that state legislators must rewrite the laws to make this happen. If you had to choose, which would you prefer - allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions or allowing same-sex couples to get married?

               Tot  Prot Cath Jew  Rep  Dem  Ind  Lib  Mod  Con  Men  Wom


Civil unions 51% 50% 57% 53% 63% 43% 51% 32% 57% 57% 56% 47% Gay marriage 28 18 26 31 14 40 28 56 25 14 25 30 DK/NA 21 32 17 15 23 17 21 12 18 29 20 23

AGE IN YEARS......... COLL DEGREE ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ No Yes <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Civil unions 52% 49% 54% 49% 49% 54% 48% 49% 50% 57% Gay marriage 41 33 24 15 27 29 23 28 34 30 DK/NA 7 18 22 36 23 16 28 23 16 13