May 14, 2009 - Racial Split As New Yorkers Divide On Gay Marriage, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Support Civil Unions More Than 2 - 1

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New York State voters are split 46 - 46 percent on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, with black voters opposed 57 - 35 percent while white voters tip narrowly in favor of gay marriage 47 - 45 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters opposed same-sex marriage 55 - 37 percent in an April 15, 2004, poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey of more than 2,800 voters, New York State voters support same-sex civil unions 65 - 27 percent with 67 - 24 percent support from white voters and 52 - 39 percent support from black voters.

Jews support same-sex marriage 61 - 34 percent as Catholics oppose it 53 - 39 percent and Protestants say no 55 - 38 percent. Voters who attend religious services at least once a week oppose same-sex marriage 66 - 26 percent, while those who attend services less frequently support same-sex marriage 56 - 36 percent. Women support the measure 49 - 42 percent while men oppose it 51 - 42 percent.

Democrats support same-sex marriage 59 - 34 percent, but Republicans oppose it 68 - 24 percent while independent voters split with 46 percent in favor and 45 percent opposed. Same- sex marriage wins 61 - 33 percent support among voters 18 to 34 years old and gets 48 - 44 percent support among voters 35 to 54 years old, while voters over 55 oppose it 55 - 37 percent.

Gays and lesbians are born that way, 46 percent of New York State voters say, while 29 percent say people choose their sexual orientation and 6 percent say it is decided by upbringing.

"Same-sex marriage? The state splits down the middle, with white voters in favor, black voters opposed and Hispanic voters just about even," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"By religion only, Jewish voters are in favor. Catholics and Protestants, especially those who get to church more often, are opposed," Carroll added.

"The age breakdown suggests that, if same-sex marriage proponents will wait, eventually they'll win. Younger voters are comfortably in favor of gay marriage; 35 to 54-year-olds are narrowly in favor, while only those over 55 are opposed."

"If proponents would settle for civil unions, the numbers indicate they'd win in a walk."

New York State voters reject 63 - 32 percent the argument that same-sex marriage is a threat to traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Voters in every racial and religious group, men and women reject the argument. Only Republicans split 48 - 48 percent.

Same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children, voters say 60 - 31 percent. While black voters narrowly oppose gay adoption, whites, Hispanics, men and women and all religious groups support the measure.

Ending discrimination against gay men and women is as important as the civil rights movement of the 1960s, New York State voters say 55 - 39 percent, with agreement among all racial, religious and age groups. Only Republicans disagree 50 - 44 percent.

But voters say by a narrow 49 - 46 percent margin that denying same sex couples the right to marry is discrimination. White voters split 49 - 47 percent while black voters say 48 - 44 percent that this is not discrimination.

"Is there a parallel between gay rights now and discrimination against black people in the 1960s? Overall, voters think so. Whites feel this way more than black voters," Carroll said.

Ninety-three percent of New York State voters say they are heterosexual, with 2 percent who say they are gay or lesbian and 1 percent who say they are bisexual.

Sixty-three percent of voters say they have friends or close relatives who are gay or lesbian.

From May 5 - 11, Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,828 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 1.8 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 or RSS feed - http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

13. Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                   Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Support            46%    24%    59%    46%    42%    49%    47%    35%    45%
Oppose             46     68     34     45     51     42     45     57     48
DK/NA               8      7      8      9      7      9      8      8      7
 
                   UpState.....  UpState
                   Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Support            41%    44%    43%    49%    46%
Oppose             51     48     48     43     47
DK/NA               8      9      9      9      7
 
                   AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  NoColl Coll
                   18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Support            61%    48%    37%    40%    54%    54%    40%    56%
Oppose             33     44     55     51     39     40     51     36
DK/NA               6      8      9      8      8      6      9      7
 
                   KNOW SMONEQ20 CAUSE Q19...  ATTEND SERVS  WHITE......
                   Yes    No     Born  Choose  Weekly Less   Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Support            52%    35%    64%    28%    26%    56%    38%    39%    61%
Oppose             40     57     30     67     66     36     55     53     34
DK/NA               8      8      7      5      8      8      7      8      5
 
TREND: Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                   May 14  Apr 15
                   2009    2004
 
Support            46      37
Oppose             46      55
DK/NA               8       8
 
 
14. Would you support or oppose a law that would allow civil unions for same-sex couples?
                   Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Support            65%    57%    69%    68%    62%    67%    67%    52%    59%
Oppose             27     35     23     23     30     25     24     39     35
DK/NA               8      8      7      8      8      8      8      9      6
 
                   UpState.....  UpState
                   Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Support            53%    63%    61%    66%    71%
Oppose             36     28     29     28     21
DK/NA              11      9      9      7      7
 
                   AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  NoColl Coll
                   18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Support            74%    68%    58%    56%    75%    77%    59%    78%
Oppose             21     25     32     35     19     18     32     17
DK/NA               5      7     10      9      7      5      9      6
 
                   KNOW SMONEQ20 CAUSE Q19...  ATTEND SERVS  WHITE......
                   Yes    No     Born  Choose  Weekly Less   Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Support            73%    52%    81%    48%    51%    72%    60%    65%    73%
Oppose             20     40     13     47     40     21     33     26     22
DK/NA               7      8      6      5      9      7      8      9      6
 
 
15. 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    His
 
Marry              40%    21%    53%    38%    38%    43%    41%    26%    46%
Civil unions       29     40     21     35     30     29     31     33     19
No recognition     23     32     19     19     25     21     21     35     27
DK/NA               7      7      6      9      7      8      7      5      9
 
                   UpState.....  UpState
                   Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Marry              34%    38%    37%    45%    39%
Civil unions       30     28     29     25     37
No recognition     31     25     26     23     17
DK/NA               5      9      8      6      7
 
                   AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  NoColl Coll
                   18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Marry              58%    42%    31%    37%    46%    47%    36%    50%
Civil unions       21     30     32     24     33     35     28     32
No recognition     18     21     27     31     16     14     28     14
DK/NA               3      6     10      8      5      4      8      5
 
                   KNOW SMONEQ20 CAUSE Q19...  ATTEND SERVS  WHITE......
                   Yes    No     Born  Choose  Weekly Less   Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Marry              46%    31%    56%    25%    22%    50%    33%    33%    52%
Civil unions       32     25     30     27     34     27     29     39     25
No recognition     16     36      8     43     35     17     29     20     20
DK/NA               6      8      6      5      8      7      9      8      3
 
TREND: 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?
                   May 14  Apr 07  Jun 12  Dec 12  Jun 19
                   2009    2009    2008    2007    2007
 
Marry              40      41      42      40      35
Civil unions       29      33      31      29      35
No recognition     23      19      21      23      22
DK/NA               7       7       6       8       8
 
 
16. 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    His
 
Agree              32%    48%    23%    29%    37%    27%    32%    37%    29%
Disagree           63     48     73     65     58     68     64     55     62
DK/NA               5      4      5      6      5      5      4      8     10
 
                   UpState.....  UpState
                   Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Agree              37%    35%    35%    31%    26%
Disagree           58     61     61     64     67
DK/NA               5      4      5      5      7
 
                   AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  NoColl Coll
                   18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Agree              28%    30%    36%    36%    27%    28%    37%    22%
Disagree           70     66     58     58     70     69     57     75
DK/NA               2      4      6      6      3      3      6      3
 
                   KNOW SMONEQ20 CAUSE Q19...  ATTEND SERVS  WHITE......
                   Yes    No     Born  Choose  Weekly Less   Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Agree              26%    42%    17%    48%    47%    24%    38%    38%    21%
Disagree           69     54     80     48     47     71     59     57     76
DK/NA               5      5      3      4      7      4      3      5      4
 
 
17. 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    His
 
Agree              49%    29%    63%    47%    45%    53%    49%    44%    51%
Disagree           46     67     31     47     50     42     47     48     43
DK/NA               5      4      6      6      5      6      5      8      6
 
                   UpState.....  UpState
                   Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Agree              43%    47%    46%    52%    48%
Disagree           50     48     48     42     47
DK/NA               7      5      5      6      4
 
                   AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  NoColl Coll
                   18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Agree              64%    53%    39%    47%    56%    53%    44%    59%
Disagree           32     44     53     47     41     44     50     37
DK/NA               4      4      8      6      3      3      6      4
 
                   KNOW SMONEQ20 CAUSE Q19...  ATTEND SERVS  WHITE......
                   Yes    No     Born  Choose  Weekly Less   Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Agree              55%    40%    65%    34%    30%    59%    44%    41%    62%
Disagree           40     55     31     63     63     37     52     55     34
DK/NA               5      5      4      3      6      4      4      4      4
 
 
18. Do you support or oppose allowing same-sex couples to adopt children?
                   Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Support            60%    48%    69%    60%    57%    63%    62%    43%    65%
Oppose             31     44     25     28     34     29     30     46     28
DK/NA               8      8      6     12      9      8      8     10      7
 
                   UpState.....  UpState
                   Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Support            55%    59%    58%    61%    62%
Oppose             36     33     34     30     30
DK/NA               9      8      8     10      7
 
                   AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  NoColl Coll
                   18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Support            75%    63%    51%    52%    69%    71%    54%    73%
Oppose             20     28     40     40     24     23     37     20
DK/NA               5      8      9      9      6      6      9      6
 
                   KNOW SMONEQ20 CAUSE Q19...  ATTEND SERVS  WHITE......
                   Yes    No     Born  Choose  Weekly Less   Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Support            69%    46%    78%    40%    45%    68%    52%    57%    73%
Oppose             24     44     17     51     45     25     40     34     18
DK/NA               7     10      5      9     10      7      9      9      9
 
 
19. In your opinion, what causes someone to be gay or lesbian - do you believe that people are born gay or lesbian, or that people become gay or lesbian because of the way they are brought up, or is it just the way that some people choose to live?
                   Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Born               46%    38%    53%    47%    40%    51%    51%    26%    44%
Brought up          6      9      5      5      7      5      5      7      7
Choose             29     35     26     29     32     27     27     47     28
DK/NA              19     19     17     19     21     17     17     19     20
 
                   UpState.....  UpState
                   Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Born               38%    45%    44%    44%    55%
Brought up          7      5      6      6      5
Choose             30     31     31     32     23
DK/NA              25     19     20     18     17
 
                   AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  NoColl Coll
                   18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Born               50%    46%    46%    38%    54%    59%    41%    56%
Brought up          8      5      5      7      5      5      6      5
Choose             32     30     28     34     28     22     33     22
DK/NA              10     19     21     21     14     14     19     17
 
                   KNOW SMONEQ20 ATTEND SERVS  WHITE......
                   Yes    No     Weekly Less   Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Born               53%    35%    38%    51%    44%    51%    55%
Brought up          5      6      5      6      6      5      5
Choose             24     39     37     27     34     26     28
DK/NA              17     19     20     17     17     17     12
 
 
20. Do you have close friends or close relatives who are gay or lesbian?
                   Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Yes                63%    57%    63%    66%    59%    65%    63%    64%    60%
No                 35     42     35     31     38     33     35     35     37
DK/NA               2      1      2      3      3      2      2      1      3
 
                   UpState.....  UpState
                   Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Yes                61%    65%    64%    60%    63%
No                 38     33     34     38     34
DK/NA               2      2      2      2      3
 
                   AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  NoColl Coll
                   18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Yes                71%    66%    56%    57%    70%    73%    58%    71%
No                 28     33     43     42     29     25     40     28
DK/NA               1      1      2      1      1      2      2      1
 
                   CAUSE Q19...  ATTEND SERVS  WHITE......
                   Born  Choose  Weekly Less   Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Yes                72%    52%    59%    65%    57%    65%    62%
No                 27     47     39     34     42     33     38
DK/NA               1      1      2      1      1      2      1
 
 
21. Some people say that ending discrimination against gay men and women is as necessary today as ending discrimination against blacks was in the 1960s. Do you agree or disagree?
                   Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Agree              55%    44%    65%    53%    51%    58%    56%    50%    57%
Disagree           39     50     29     42     43     35     39     43     34
DK/NA               6      5      6      6      6      6      5      7      8
 
                   UpState.....  UpState
                   Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Agree              44%    54%    52%    57%    56%
Disagree           45     40     41     37     39
DK/NA              12      6      7      6      5
 
                   AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  NoColl Coll
                   18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Agree              58%    58%    52%    53%    58%    58%    54%    58%
Disagree           37     37     40     39     37     39     39     38
DK/NA               5      4      7      8      5      3      7      5
 
                   KNOW SMONEQ20 CAUSE Q19...  ATTEND SERVS  WHITE......
                   Yes    No     Born  Choose  Weekly Less   Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Agree              61%    46%    70%    42%    44%    61%    49%    54%    61%
Disagree           35     46     26     54     49     34     45     41     34
DK/NA               4      9      4      4      7      5      7      5      5
 
 
22. Do you think of yourself as straight or heterosexual, gay or lesbian, or bisexual?
                   Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Straight/hetero    93%    96%    91%    93%    91%    94%    93%    94%    90%
Gay/lesbian         2      1      4      2      3      2      3      1      4
Bisexual            1      -      2      1      1      1      1      2      3
DK/NA               4      3      3      4      4      3      3      2      3