Poll: NC Opposes Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment


While North Carolina residents overwhelmingly support keeping their statutory ban on same-sex marriage, a new poll by Public Polling Policy (PPP) says that a majority would reject a constitutional amendment enshrining the state’s gay marriage ban that also blocks same-sex couples from all legal recognition, an amendment Republican lawmakers are pushing to put on the 2012 ballot.

Of 520 North Carolina voters independently surveyed from September 1st to 4th, 61% of respondents in the state said they want same-sex marriage to remain illegal and only 31% supported overturning the state’s 1996 statutory ban. However, 55% said they would also vote against the Republican constitutional amendment that, based on language proposed by the state senate, would ban marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. Only 37% would vote for such an amendment.

There are some familiar trends in the polling data, too. Some 63% of Democrats and 52% of independent voters would reject the amendment. Interestingly, such severe language in the amendment would see 47% of Republican respondents also voting against and only 31% openly saying they would vote for it.

Mirroring earlier polls, among the most opposed to the amendment are African Americans with 61% voting against, and 78% of respondents under the age of 30 saying they would reject the amendment as worded.

However, every single majority over the age of 30 also opposes the amendment, including those over 65, even though 71% of which are against gay marriage. This indicates that while a majority of NC residents do not yet want to grant same-sex marriage, they oppose blocking gay couples from the legal rights of marriage — indeed 54% of those surveyed said they supported legal equality for same-sex couples.

From the PPP press release:

“It’s pretty simple: North Carolinians don’t support gay marriage but they also don’t think this constitutional amendment is necessary,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “And they also think this particular proposal goes too far by targeting civil unions, which many voters in the state support.”

Legislative Republicans remain far less popular than their Democratic counterparts.  Only a third see them favorably, and half unfavorably.  For Democrats, the spread is 12 points closer, but still negative, 38-43. The generic legislative ballot is virtually tied this month with 46% of voters leaning toward the GOP and 45% to the Democrats.


The margin of error for the survey is +/-4.3%. This poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews. PPP is a Democratic polling company, but polling expert Nate Silver of the New York Times found that its surveys in 2010 actually exhibited a slight bias toward Republican candidates.

To read more on the poll, please click here.

The NC Legislature has yet to agree on the final language of the 2012 amendment, but this poll should send a clear message that there is significant opposition to passing an overreaching ban that would prevent gay couples from accessing the legal rights associated with marriage.

Related Reading:

NC Rep: Gay Marriage Philosophically Same as Incest, Polygamy

NC Gay Marriage Ban Destined for Special Session

University’s Gay Friendly Church List Riles Professor

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Made Underground.


K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Lepidopter Phoenyx

I'm with you, Susan. I have gay friends who are married to their soulmates, and their marriages don't affect me or my marriage in the slightest, nor does my marriage affect them. Their marriage isn't about me, and mine isn't about them.

Sylvia M.
Sylvia M6 years ago

Seems NC is missing out on economic opportunity here. Case in point: New York State...and the boost to the economy there now where ALL couples in love can plan a wedding, hire a caterer, order flowers, order wine, have a honeymoon etc etc etc. In today's economic times, the states that will gain the most are the ones where people know they can come, celebrate their love, and spend their money! NC and many other states still have a problem with this, so states like NY will sweep up. The discrimination just seems especially pointless when one remembers 40 years ago or so for a black and white couple to marry was also illegal, frowned upon, and brought shock such as one would think could never be recovered from.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal6 years ago

Come on NC. Get past the homophobia...this is about equality, dignity, and respect.

Penny C.
penny C6 years ago

Thank you.

Harry Coverston
Harry Coverston6 years ago

"I will actually believe this poll when they actually go to the voters and then their true colors would then show."

Point well taken. The Halo Effect occurs when pollsters ask voters in public settings how they plan to vote. Many will give socially acceptable answers only to go to the ballot box where, in the darkness of the voting booth, they can vote their prejudices. No one wants to be identified as a homophobe, particularly when they hold such prejudices. But they're more than happy to vote those prejudices when they get a chance.

Still, the fact that it's become socially unacceptable in NC to espouse a homophobic position is encouraging.

Christopher Fowler

One does not have to agree with Gay marriage to support it on Constitutional grounds. I do support it because prejudice like that is wrong, but also the idea of telling someone that they are legally barred from getting married because of how they were born is just plain un-American. It is the same reasoning that people opposed blacks getting married after the Civil War, or the opposition to inter-racial marriage in the first half of the 20th century.

Face it; it is just the religious extremists opposing this and that makes this an issue of "our religion says no, so that should be the law".

Hey religious nuts. Our nation is based on some ideals that you have always opposed, such as freedom of religion and freedom to make our own decisions.

Michael M.
Michael M6 years ago

I will actually believe this poll when they actually go to the voters and then their true colors would then show.

Joseph Belisle
Joseph Belisle6 years ago

It should never be about popular opinion. It should be about protecting Constitutional rights. It should not be a bill in Congress. It shouldn't be a vote in an election. It should be a court ruling protecting the rights of the minority from the oppression of the majority. Lincoln had the guts to declare all slaves emanicipated in a time where the nation was torn apart by pro-slave vs pro-labor beliefs and when the Supreme Court ruled on the Dred Scott case stating that the Constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness didn't apply to black people. Why can't our government come forward to protect the rights of gay people? Is it more of a risk? Is their risk of open warfare? Just how gutless and demented is our government?
Wait, don't answer that. I already know.

Gary A L.
Gary L6 years ago

My Father left north Carolina as soon as he could he couldn't stand the bigots and small minded people it seems he's still right at least about who they elect and that say all you need to know f they are really changing their attitudes they soon vote out all those bigots occupying their government by the way he left in 1936