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(07/28/08) -

U.S. Divided on Homosexual Couples

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The legal recognition of same-sex couples continues to split views in the United States, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 32 per cent of respondents would allow homosexual partners to legally marry, 33 per cent would permit them to form civil unions, and 29 per cent would grant them no legal recognition.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The legal recognition of same-sex couples continues to split views in the United States, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 32 per cent of respondents would allow homosexual partners to legally marry, 33 per cent would permit them to form civil unions, and 29 per cent would grant them no legal recognition.

In addition, 56 per cent of respondents would oppose amending the United States Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

In 2004, marriage certificates were issued to same-sex couples by local governments in the states of California, Oregon, New Mexico and New York. In May 2004, the state of Massachusetts allowed gay and lesbian partners to apply for marriage licenses. In May 2008, California’s Supreme Court overturned a ban on same-sex marriage in a 4-3 decision, effectively allowing full marriage rights to homosexual partners.

Civil union and domestic partnership laws in Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey grant same-sex couples all state-level rights and obligations of marriage—in areas such as inheritance, income tax, insurance and hospital visitation. Other forms of domestic partnership exist in the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire and Washington State. There are more than 1,000 federal-level rights of marriage that cannot be granted by states.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, and South Africa. Norway will allow homosexual couples to get married in 2009. At least 18 countries offer some form of legal recognition to same-sex unions.

Earlier this month, Democratic Arizona state senator Paula Aboud said history will look back on the same-sex marriage issue "the same way it looks at interracial marriage," adding, "Nothing is happening to frighten anybody. All that is happening is people who want to are going to churches and getting married. (…) This is an issue that the fundamentalists have used to foment hate."

Polling Data

Which would you prefer? Do you think same-sex couples should be allowed legally to marry, should be allowed legally to form civil unions but not marry, or should not be allowed to obtain legal recognition of their relationships?

Legally Marry

32%

Form Civil Unions

33%

No Legal Recognition

29%

Unsure

6%

Would you support or oppose amending the United States Constitution to ban same-sex marriage?

 

Jul. 2008

Nov. 2006

Dec. 2004

Support

38%

43%

43%

Oppose

56%

53%

53%

Not sure

6%

4%

4%

Source: Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,783 registered American voters, conducted from Jul. 8 to Jul. 13, 2008. Margin of error is 2.3 per cent.