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Religious Tolerance logo

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

From 2003-MAY until 2004

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2003-MAY: Civil unions, and healthcare / Social Security survivor benefits:

The Gallup Organization conducted a poll asking for public opinion on a law that would allow same-sex couples to form civil unions and receive some of the legal rights of married couples. The nation's adults are, for the first time, evenly divided:

Item % in favor % opposed
Civil union legislation 49% 49%

For the first time, the Gallup Organization sought the public's opinion about healthcare and Social Security for same-sex committed couples. The question was:

"Do you think homosexual couples should or should not have the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples regarding healthcare benefits and Social Security survivor benefits?"

American adults appear to be more strongly in favor of equal benefits for gays and lesbians than are in favor of civil unions: 1

Item % in favor % opposed No answer
Healthcare/social security benefits 62% 35% 3%

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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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2003-MAY: New Jersey poll: A poll conducted by New Jersey City University for The Jersey Journal newspaper revealed that a significant majority of Hudson County residents supported legalized same-sex marriage. Hudson county includes the cities of Jersey City, Union City, Bayonne, and Hoboken. The poll was supervised by Fran Moran, of the Political Science Department, and Bruce Chadwick, of the English Department. They were surprised by the support for gay marriage, saying: "Hudson is a working-class, blue-collar and heavily Catholic county and we surmised that residents would be strongly against gay marriage."

Some results of the poll:

Item % in favor % opposed
Among the general population 55.6 34.2
Among Roman Catholics 60.4%  
Among Protestants 30%  
Among men 61%  
Among women 51%  
Among 18 to 29 year olds 71%  
Among those over 65 year olds 20%  

Moran and Chadwick were surprised at finding more support from men than from women. They said:

"Usually, home- and marriage-oriented women tend to be more understanding of same sex relationships than men. The overall results, especially among the youngest county residents, certainly reflect a changing public opinion of this controversial subject, especially in a blue-collar county where such a view would not be expected."

Of all of the dozens of polls that we have seen, this is the only one that found men were more accepting of SSM than women.

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2004-MAR-24: Focus on the Family web site poll: Focus on the Family is a fundamentalist Christian group centered in Colorado. They held "Love won out" conferences that try to teach parents how to prevent homosexuality in their children, and to teach gays and lesbians to become heterosexuals. They conducted an opinion poll on their web site. The question was: "Do you think homosexual couples should be able to marry? 3 Result were:

Presumably, the vast majority of visitors to their website were fundamentalist or other evangelical Christians and voted as one would expect.

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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. "Six out of 10 Americans Say Homosexual Relations Should Be Recognized as Legal But Americans are evenly divided on issue of legal civil unions between homosexuals giving them the legal rights of married couples," The Gallup Organization, 2003-MAY-15, at: **
  2. "New Hampshire supports same-sex marriage; Poll finds majority in favor," New Hampshire Freedom to Marry, 2003-MAY-23, at:
  3. "Hand count," Focus on the Family, 2004-MAR-24, 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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