HRC Poll: Voters Want U.S. House Focused on Jobs Not on Defending DOMA

The Human Rights Campaign this week released results of a survey into issues surrounding the Defense of Marriage Act. Results show that a majority of respondents believe GOP House leaders should be focusing on the issue of jobs instead of defending DOMA in court, that voters may believe it’s time to dispense with DOMA altogether, and that a majority support giving same-sex couples the benefits of marriage. 

The poll, conducted on 3/8/2011 through 3/10/2011 by telephone survey (including cell phones), quizzed a total of 800 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46%.

From the HRC press release:

American voters oppose the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – the law that forbids the federal government from recognizing legally married same-sex couples – as well as efforts by the House Republican leadership to intervene in court cases defending the law, according to new polling released today by the Human Rights Campaign in partnership with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.  This poll is the first in a series of quarterly surveys from HRC and GQRR that will analyze public opinion on critical lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.

Overall, voters say they oppose the Defense of Marriage Act – 51 percent oppose the law and 34 percent favor it.  Independent voters, who were instrumental in the Republican House takeover, oppose this law by a 52 percent to 34 percent margin.  Additionally when read statements for and against defending the law in court, 54 percent of voters oppose the House Republicans’ intervention, while only 32 percent support it.  Poll results are available at

DOMA prohibits the federal government from granting married same-sex couples things like Social Security survivor benefits, health insurance for federal employees’ spouses, joint tax filing, family and medical leave and other critical protections.  When asked if they favor or oppose some of these benefits for gay and lesbian couples who have been legally married, voters responded: on Social Security survivor benefits, 60 favor, 34 oppose; on federal employee health benefits for spouses, 58 percent favor, 36 percent oppose; on protecting spouses from losing their homes in cases of severe medical emergencies or death, 64 percent favor, 28 percent oppose; and on avoiding tax penalties by filing joint tax returns as a married couple, 55 percent favor, 38 percent oppose.


Given a list of issues important in determining their vote for President, voters ranked the economy and jobs (54 percent), Medicare and Social Security (23 percent) and education (19 percent) as most important with only 5 percent of respondents saying “gay marriage” was most important to them.

The poll also shows a plurality of voters disapprove of the way the Republicans are handling their job in charge of the House of Representatives: 42 percent approve, 45 percent disapprove.  When asked how the Republican majority is handling voters’ most important issue – jobs – 80 percent have a negative response while only 15 percent say they’re doing a good or excellent job.

“Americans are clamoring for Congress to deal with jobs and the economy,” said [HRC President Joe] Solmonese.  “This new poll shows that House Republican leaders take their eye off the economic ball at their own peril.”

Poll results, charts and a link to the questions respondents were asked can be found at

This comes as the Republican House leadership pushed on with their plan to defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act last week, making formal the process of finding attorneys to defend the law for several cases currently making their way through the courts. 

Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi also sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner last week in which she requested he put a figure on exactly how much it will cost to defend DOMA Section 3, saying that the House of Representatives would be better disposed tackling the issues of job creation and economic stability. Read the letter here. 

Take Action: Tell Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.


William C
William C6 months ago


W. C
W. C6 months ago

Thank you.

kenny s.
Kenny Stidham7 years ago

Go to YouTube and watch "The Ally Effect". This young coach is amazing and will help make the world a better place for all gays.

Tom Y.
Tom Y7 years ago

Inevitably, politicians are going to represent constituents, and a sizeable constituency supports DOMA. It makes sense to. A climate which supports marriages is a very good hothouse for economic activity. The best government can and should do is to foster such inviting conditions and then step aside, and keep its tax skimming to an acceptable minimum...

PJ Granieri says stuff like:


Is this a veiled threat to indoctrinate or violate kids because their parents vote Republican? You don't like the politics, so you imply this air of menacing circumstances for their teens? What the hell are you?

monica r.
monica r7 years ago

In what way does letting more people get married "threaten" marriage.

If they could blame the jobs thing on LGBT somehow they would.

For the record I am a Christian. I believe God loves all His children, so as part of all of us, our LGBT brothers and sisters (or however someone identifies) are precious in His sight.

Whatsoever you do unto the least of do it to Jesus, too. Think about it.

Rob and Jay B.
Jay S7 years ago

It is interesting that these right winger Conservatives are also the ones who are so vehemently opposed to Sharia Law, when they are actually working to impose Sharia's tenets on us with actions like their anti-gay agenda and their efforts at repressing women's rights. You'd think they would embrace Islam and Sharia, which they have so much more in common with than with the teachings of tolerance, love, peace and non-judgement of Jesus of Nazareth. What a weird world. All all the while they are stripping away freedoms & social programs to help the people & let the infrastructure of the country continue to collapse, they haven't lessened the bloated, offensive, world-dominating military budget in service of the Robber Barons & War Profiteers like Haliburton & Blackwater by even one single cent - the biggest waste of tax money in the whole budget. Who do these backward hicks really represent? Not you or us, that's for sure.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin7 years ago

Repukes has to confuse people because they have no clue whatsoever what to do to help people get back on their feet.

If they did, they should have started programs to ensure decent and affordable housing, upgraded schools, invested in green infrastructure and funded research into sustainable energy sources. But instead they focus on keeping discriminatory legislation and filling their own and their corporate supporters pockets, all the while they ruin the country, enviroment and future.

Poli = Many
Tics = Blood sucking creatures

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin7 years ago

Sorry, kenny s. Mar 18, 2011 11:19 AM, can't send you a Green Star because I'm over my limit, but I thank you for your comment!

Bon L.
Bon L7 years ago

Thanks for the info.

stefan d.
Stefan Dwornik7 years ago

Hetrosexual society is the sole reason for the disintegration of the family unit, never have homosexuals threatened what comprises a family. A family is LOVE, and Judgement is the Creator's providence, not the 'Christian-republican right'.