North Carolina voters continue to
support a proposed gay marriage ban but also say the relationships of
gay couples should be recognized.
Voters will decide on the
constitutional amendment during the state's upcoming May 8 primary.
A new poll released Thursday by Public
Policy Polling found a majority (58%) of likely primary voters
plan to vote for the amendment, while 38 percent plan to vote against
The amendment, however, goes beyond
banning gay couples from marrying; it would also ban other forms of
legal recognition, including civil unions and possibly domestic
And there's the rub, because a majority
of those surveyed (51%) also say they support some form of legal
recognition for gay couples.
“Part of the problem is that voters
are not well informed about what the amendment does,” wrote Dustin
Ingalls in releasing the poll's results. “A 34% plurality say
there are not sure on that question. Almost as many (31%) do know
that it would ban both gay marriage and civil unions, but then not
many fewer (28%) think it would only ban marriage. 7% actually think
it would legalize gay marriage. Those who think it bans
solely marriage rights are voting 67-30 for it, so 8% of North
Carolinians, while misinformed, are voting against the measure simply
because they think it bans same-sex marriage alone. Of course, those
who think a 'yes' vote actually legalizes these unions are voting by
the same margin for it.”
Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy
Polling, added: “The marriage amendment is leading by a wide margin
right now. But there's a dramatic shift in the numbers once voters
become aware about how far reaching it is. Education is the key for
those hoping to defeat it over the next six weeks.”
The poll has a margin of error of plus
or minus 2.8 percentage points.