Editor’s note: Please also read and share this related story: “GLAAD Denounces Skewed’ Reporting Of NY Marriage Equality Poll Results.”
A NY1/Marist poll released Thursday finds that 79% of registered New York voters want legal recognition for same-sex couples, including 51% choosing legal civil marriage when the option of civil unions was included. 28% of New York voters chose civil unions, and only 21% stated they wanted no legal recognition for unions of same-sex couples.
Majorities favoring legal civil same-sex marriage included Democrats (57%), Liberals (69%), Moderates (55%), NYC residents (56%), Suburban residents (53%), college graduates (61%), Whites (57%), women (55%), and those under 45 (51%).
No majority of any demographic said there should be no legal recognition for same-sex couples.
However, perhaps showing New Yorkers’ altruism, 51% of New York registered voters said they ”believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman,” a misleading question as it ties into the religious definition of marriage by using the word “believe,” i.e., “belief,” which is religion-related, when the option before the state is only for civil marriage, the kind you go to city hall — not a church or house of worship — to get.
(Marist College was founded as a Catholic institution, although became secular in 2003.)
So, while a slim majority of New Yorkers may personally “believe” marriage should be limited to one man and one woman, they also believe same-sex couples deserve the right to marry..
The poll itself has been criticized as marriage equality is before the New York State Legislature, and civil unions are not, so the poll should not have offered civil unions as a polling option.
Additionally, the released poll results include all residents, as opposed to only registered or only likely voters, with the exception of the top line numbers.
In December, 2009, just days after New York failed to pass a same-sex marriage bill, a Sienna Research Institute poll found that forty-seven percent of NY voters were “disappointed” that the New York State Senate failed to pass a same-sex marriage bill last month. Forty-one percent said they were “pleased.”
Additionally last month, another Sienna poll of New York state voters showed immense support for same-sex marriage across almost every major demographic, including 58% total support, a comfortable majority. The poll shows majority support for marriage equality from Democrats (65%), Independents (61%), women (60%), men (56%), whites (62%), Latinos (54%), Catholics (57%), and Jews (56%). Surprisingly, by geographic area, what is generally considered the more conservation region of upstate New York polled the highest, with 62%, followed by the suburbs at 60%, and New York City, often perceived as the most liberal part of the state, polling at a majority, albeit slimmer, at 54%.
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