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Religious Tolerance logo

Single polls about same-sex marriages (SSM) & civil unions

From 2000 to 2003-APR

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Single polls:

2000-FEB: U.S. data: A Harris Poll released in early 2000-FEB showed:

bullet57% oppose marriage by a gay couple; 15% approve.

bullet55% oppose marriage by a lesbian couple; 16% approve.

Even at these values, pposition to same-sex marriage appears to be far below the level of opposition to marriage of mixed-race couples in 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court declared the remaining 16 state miscegenation laws unconstitutional.

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2000-MAR: California data: A series of polls were taken during late 2000-FEB by the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Examiner. Another poll was taken by the Public Policy Institute of California during 2000-FEB. The polls asked the subject's opinion on Proposition 22 that would state that "Only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized." The proposition was passed by the voters on 2000-MAR-7.

Group Favor Prop 22 Oppose Prop 22 No opinion
Overall results 55 to 57% ~38% ~7%

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2001-NOV: Poll by conducted a Internet poll concerning a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would declare that a marriage can only be between one man and one woman. By that time, the federal government and many states hadDefense of Marriage Acts (DOMAs) which require this. However, their constitutionality is questionable. They could be overturned by court actions. If the prohibition of same-sex marriage were embedded in the U.S. Constitution, then it could not be as easily overturned. A second amendment to the Constitution would then be required to repeal the first.

Donna Payne of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said:

"This is an unnecessary attack on lesbian and gay Americans that would create a constitutionally mandated second class of American citizens."

Visitors to the HRC website were asked a somewhat loaded question: whether they wanted to "Preserve the traditional definition of marriage" by voting Yes, or preferred that lawmakers "Don't rewrite the Constitution to bash gays," by voting No. 138,130 people voted: 55% in favor of the amendment and 45% opposed. It is important to realize that the voters are self-selected and may not represent an accurate cross-section of the American public. 1

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2003-APR: Massachusetts data: By a slim majority, most residents of the state favored allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Item In favor Opposed No answer
All ages and genders 50% 44% 6%
18 to 39 62 33 5
40 to 64 53 42 5
Over 65 21 69 10
Women 55 38 7
Men 45 50 5

The poll was taken by KRC Communications Research for Globe/WBZ. Margin of error: 5%

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2003-APR-11 to 22: New Hampshire poll: The University of New Hampshire Survey Center conducted a poll of 509 adults in the state. margin of error is 4.4%. Some findings:

% in favor
% opposed
Same sex marriage should be permitted 54% 42%
Same sex couples should have the same hospital visitation rights as close relatives 88%  
Same sex couples should be allowed family medical leave time 78%  

On legalizing same-sex marriage, 65% of women but only 43% of men were in favor. Seventy percent of subjects aged 18 to 29 years favored same-sex marriage; only 32% of those over 69 were in favor. 2

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The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still accessible today.

  1. The data is available from their archives at:
  2. "New Hampshire supports same-sex marriage; Poll finds majority in favor," New Hampshire Freedom to Marry, 2003-MAY-23, at:

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Copyright © 1996 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 1996-SEP-25
Latest update: 2011-FEB-27
Author: B.A. Robinson
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