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Majority of New Jerseyans Favor Same-Sex Marriage

Majority of New Jerseyans Favor Same-Sex Marriage
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A Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released this week has found that a majority of New Jersey voters support legalizing same-sex marriage, with 52% in favor, 32% against and 16% undecided. However, given the choice between civil unions and same-sex marriage, 58% said they support civil unions.

There has been a significant drop in the margin opposing same-sex marriage over the past two years however, say pollsters:

“We were surprised by the margin favoring gay marriage, which is much greater than previously reported,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers. “While the number of supporters has grown only a little, the number directly opposing gay marriage has fallen significantly. At the same time, more people say they are unsure or refuse to answer the question. These may be voters who are uncomfortable with gay marriage but who don’t want to express direct opposition, suggesting support is not as lopsided as it appears.”

The Rutgers-Eagleton Poll surveyed 615 registered voters by both landline and cell phone  from Aug. 9 – 15.  There is a margin of error for the full sample of +/- 3.9 percentage points.

As is commonly found, women are more likely to support same-sex marriage when compared to men at 58% to 47%, with strong support among Millennial generation voters at 77%. As is the established pattern seen nationally, support tapers off to 35% among the over 65s.

Again, there is a familiar split when it comes to political affiliation with 61% of Democratic party supporters in favor, while 58% of identified independent voters saying they support same-sex marriage. However, 51% of Republicans reported opposing same-sex marriage. When asked to identity as “liberals,” “moderates,” and “conservatives,” there was again a familiar trend with 83%, 56% and 18%  respectively saying the favor same-sex marriage. However, only 62% of self-identifying conservatives said they are opposed which leaves a big chunk in the “don’t know” category. This is something that caught the eye of researchers:

“We see an interesting pattern, with Republicans and Conservatives much more likely to say ‘don’t know’ to the gay marriage question,” noted Redlawsk. “This suggests either some measure of uncertainty and changing attitudes by these voters, or perhaps reluctance to express a negative view in a state known for support of gay rights.”

Religion also played a factor in support with Catholics favoring same-sex marriage slightly more than Protestants, but how frequently respondents attend religious services being a  stronger indicator than particular religious affiliation, with those who attend services more frequently less likely to support same-sex marriage.

Support was also shown to increase in proportion to levels of education. A 46% margin of those with a high school level of education or less said they supported same-sex marriage, while 62% of respondents who attended graduate school said they supported marriage equality.

Interestingly, 73% of respondents said that New York’s recent legalization of same-sex marriage had no effect whatsoever on their views.

NEXT PAGE: Civil Unions Get Greater Support

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Photo used under the MorgueFile user license, with thanks to mensatic.

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67 comments

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1:51PM PDT on Sep 23, 2011

The bible is full of archaic meaningless laws and restrictions. It is full of barbarity and conflict and you can make anything of it that you want. Many of the books that should have been in the bible were burned as heretical.

1:48PM PDT on Sep 23, 2011

Whats the big dealio let them get married if they want.

6:02PM PDT on Sep 7, 2011

EVERY state should have same sex marriages. It's the right thing to do. Discrimination is NOT an American or Family Value.

12:25PM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

(cont).... It is only a short matter of time now before marriage equality for gay couples is the law of the land across America. Those who are fighting to oppose it are not only wasting their time, but they are creating a disgraceful legacy for themselves.

12:23PM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

Like the rest of the nation New Jersey is rapidly coming to the conclusion that gay people are entitled to equal rights, being their friends, family, coworkers, associates, role-models, and heroes, who are identical to every other person in every conceivable way in humanity's endless diversity, but they happen to be physically and emotionally attracted to those of the same gender (which science has demonstrated, as gay people long proclaimed, that sexual orientation is not a choice, and that homosexuality is perfectly normal and natural in the percentages it occurs as evidenced by thousands of animal species).

As citizens of the United States protected by Constitutional guarantees, gay people are entitled to equal treatment of the law, laws which must have a rational secular basis that advances a legitimate state interest. As States have marriage laws on the books, then without a rational justification, they cannot exclude gay citizens from marrying the consenting adult of their choosing, regardless of that person's gender. Not a single secular rationale has been put forth for why marriage should only be recognized between a man and woman that withstands scrutiny, or is shown to be a barrier to marriage for any straight couples (e.g. straight couples can marry regardless of their intent or capacity to procreate).

It is only a short matter of time now before marriage equality for gay couples is the law of the land across America. Those who are fighting to oppose

9:55AM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

don't know the difference between a hypothesis and a theory or that they are willing to be intellectually dishonest and to mislead those without much education.
How many that believe the Old Tesatament is literally true (even though self contradictory) and that everybody should follow the rules actually do follow them? How many men have their hair cut, against biblical injunction? How many men shave their beards off - again against biblical injunction? How many obey injuctions about clothing, associating with women, eating shellfish, pork etc? How many withdraw from society into the wilderness if they become ill?
Blind faith is also what causes so many people to believe that their god wants them to kill other people because they don't worship the same god.
You might have guessed by now that I'm not a great fan of faith!

9:54AM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

@ Ron G. History does not rely on faith; it relies on evidence. There is a lot of evidence about Alexander the Great. When new evidence appears that challenges an existing view yet more evidence is sought to clarify things.
Faith, on the other hand is not (usually) challenged by evidence. For instance anyone looking at the natural world will realise it is immensely old. Chalk cliffs hundreds of feet high that can only have been laid down at a maximum of about 1cm per 100 years which is 1m per 10,000 years. Near where I used to live are chalk beds about 400m thick yet still some people's reading of the Bible makes them insist that the Earth is only a few thousand years old. To make this claim they then have to invoke some exceptional mechanism that would allow much faster formation of chalk because after all faith cannot be challenged. OK, allow almost instant formation of chalk during/after the flood, and estimate how many organisms had to have been alive for their shells to have formed the chalk and we find the entire surface of the Earth would have been covered by 45cm of foraminifera and coccolithophores. And of course the chalk is on top of much older rock. Does this bother Young Earthers? No, because when faith conflicts with overwhelming evidence the evidence is ignored.
The evidence for evolution is overwhelming; does this bother creationists? No, they just ignore it and say evolution is "only a theory" which shows that they either don't know the difference between

6:17PM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

That should read "has questionable evidence."

6:16PM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

@ Ron G. no I have faith in nothing. I accept things, that have evidence, reject that which does not, and am skeptical of that which had questionable evidence.

5:06PM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

William Y,
To have faith we first must trust.But if we don't wish to believe then we will have neither.'
"Faith is the substance of things not seen,the evidence of things not seen " Well that presents a problem for you because you only rely on things you can physically see. In that case ,do you have faith in anything at all? Faith does not apply to things existing just because we can see them.It limits understanding of the unseen things.
But as I say ,just like any decision we have to make,it is the choice we have the right to make.But then we have to accept the consequences of those choices.
Much of history relies on faith it being true no matter if it is Biblical reference or not.Because i have faith and trust in God and the evidence of other scources to back it up I believe it.History tells me that Alexander the Great swept through the middle east .Until i can disprove that,why should i disbelieve it?
No eveidence whatsoever can disprove that Jesus existed...quite the contrary.In fact our time is divided by His time on earth. Ad...BC
However.you and I obviously have differences in the choices we make.And we make those choices based on what we have faith in and trust in and believe in.I am glad though that i have discovered my reason for being on earth and where i go after my time here .That is more than faith...it is an absolute conviction

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