More Americans favor same-sex marriage (38%) than oppose legal recognition of same-sex relationships (27%), with 22% opposing same-sex marriage but in favor of civil unions instead and 13% not sure. That level of support for gay marriage was measured just as New York State became the sixth state permitting same-sex marriage (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire, plus the District of Columbia all preceded New York state).
Do you favor or oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally?
Favor allowing same-sex marriage
Oppose allowing same-sex marriage,
Oppose legal recognition of same-sex
- Few begrudge those six states and DC deciding for themselves: Only 22% think same-sex marriage policies should be handled by the Federal government alone, compared to 57% who feel states should be allowed to establish their own policies.
- By a more than a 2-to-1 margin (68% to 32%), people in the U.S. feel there will either be no impact or a beneficial impact of legalizing gay marriage on the institution of traditional male-female marriage compared to those who see it as a threat.
- A strong majority (59%) describe homosexuality as a way of life that should be accepted by society, rather than discouraged (41%). Most feel homosexuality is not something a person can change about himself or herself (57%), compared to 43% who see it as something a person chooses to be.
- An almost equally strong majority (56%) describe same-sex marriages as immoral, rather than moral (44%).
Photo source: Press Association