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(03/15/07) -

Americans Pick Civil Unions Over Gay Marriage

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in the United States believe same-sex partners should be legally recognized, according to a poll by the New York Times and CBS News. 32 per cent of respondents think gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions, while 28 per cent support same-sex marriage.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in the United States believe same-sex partners should be legally recognized, according to a poll by the New York Times and CBS News. 32 per cent of respondents think gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions, while 28 per cent support same-sex marriage.

Conversely, 35 per cent of respondents think there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship, down six points since February 2005.

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, the first state-sanctioned homosexual weddings in the U.S.

Civil union and domestic partnership laws in Vermont, Connecticut, California 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 and Maine. There are more than 1,000 federal-level rights of marriage that cannot be granted by states.

On Mar. 13, Colorado’s State House gave initial approval to a bill that seeks to allow same-sex partners and other unmarried persons to adopt children. Republican representative Kent Lambert described the proposed legislation as “an attempt to redefine families in Colorado.”

Polling Data

Which comes closest to your view? Gay couples should be allowed to legally marry; gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry; or there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship?

Mar. 2007

Oct. 2006

Feb. 2005

Marry

28%

28%

23%

Civil unions

32%

29%

34%

No legal recognition

35%

38%

41%

Not sure

5%

5%

2%

Source: The New York Times / CBS News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,362 American adults, conducted from Mar. 7 to Mar. 11, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.