Poll Finds Americans Turned Away from Gay “Marriages” and Unions

( [email protected] ) Dec 23, 2003 09:28 AM EST

Countering what seemed to be a trend toward supporting gay rights, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll found widespread support for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban gay “marriage.”

Seventy-one percent of the people 1,057 polled on Dec. 10-13 opposed gay marriages. Nearly half of adults, 49 percent, believe that same-sex relationships should be illegal. Forty-one percent said they should be legal. Nearly half of adults, 49 percent, believed that same-sex relations are morally wrong. Thirteen percent said such relations are acceptable, while 36 percent said they don't care either way. A large majority, 60 percent, said it would be unacceptable to have a same-sex "marriage" performed in their church or synagogue. Thirty-two percent said it would be fine. The poll also found that 55 percent of Americans favored an amendment to the constitution that would allow marriage only between a man and a woman.

The findings come after the highest court in Massachusetts ruled 4 to 3 last month that same-sex marriage was permissible under the state's Constitution. That ruling followed a 6-to-3 decision in late June by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down anti-sodomy laws.

President Bush had been noncommittal about a constitutional amendment immediately after the Massachusetts ruling, with the administration worried that support for a ban on gay marriage would alienate moderate voters. But last week Bush for the first time voiced his support, saying, "I will support a constitutional amendment which would honor marriage between a man and a woman, codify that."