Support for gay marriage in New Jersey
has jumped, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released
A majority (49%) of the people surveyed
now support gay marriage in the Garden State, while 43 percent oppose
A similar poll conducted in the winter
of 2006, as the New Jersey Legislature was debating granting civil
unions to gay and lesbian couples, showed only 44% percent of
respondents approved of gay marriage and 50% opposed it. That's a
jump of nearly 5% in just over 2 years.
“Two years after New Jersey's civil
union law went into effect, sentiment for allowing same-sex marriage
in the state has shifted from six points against to six points in
favor,” said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac
University Polling Institute, in a statement.
“Support of the same-sex civil union
law has risen dramatically and New Jersey voters do not see gay
marriage as a threat to traditional marriages between a man and a
woman. Support for allowing gay couples to adopt children is nearly
More damaging to opponents are the
poll's findings on the argument that gay marriage “is a threat to
the traditional marriage between a man and a woman,” the argument
most often invoked by gay marriage foes. A large majority (66%) do
not believe it's a threat, and the number of believers has shrunk to
only 30%, the poll found.
Last week, a poll conducted by the
Siena College Research Institute found a similar jump in gay marriage
support in New York. The poll found approval had jumped 7% in the
last year (10% since 2007), and for the first time a majority (53%)
of New Yorkers approve of gay marriage.
Both New York and New Jersey are
considering bills that would legalize gay marriage. Public opinion
polls showing strong public support on the issue are an indicator of
the level of backlash lawmakers can expect if they vote in favor of