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Religious Tolerance logo

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

From 2005 & 2006-MAR

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On related topics:

bullet41% believe that same-sex sexual behavior is always wrong. This is a remarkable drop from 58% by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago in 1998.

bullet 79% say that gays and lesbians should be able to serve in the military. This is another drastic change. The year 2000 Opinion Dynamics Poll found that only 57% were in favor. The Boston Globe reported that: "Large majorities of Republicans, regular churchgoers, and people with negative attitudes toward gays think gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military." 1

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2006-MAR: California poll by Angus Reid Global Scan:

This poll was taken among adults in California. The found that a substantial majority of California residents favored legal registration of loving, committed, same-sex relationships, by half disapproved of allowing same-sex couples to marry.

When asked whether the state should recognize same-sex relationships, or merely consider them as roommates, their response was spit in a three-way tie:

bullet32% felt that they should be allowed to marry.

bullet32% felt that they should be allowed to form civil unions or domestic partnerships, but not be allowed to marry.

bullet32% felt that their relationships should not be legally recognized at all.

bullet4% were unsure or did not respond.

When allowed only the choice between two alternatives, the results were:

bullet51% oppose the availability of same-sex marriage.

bullet43% favor the availability of same-sex marriage.

bullet6% were unsure or did not respond.

It is worth noting that in the year 2000, Californians were able to vote on Proposition 22 which banned same-sex marriage. It was approved by a 61.4% majority. At first glance, this would indicate a 10 percentage point drop in opposition to same-sex marriage. However, the two numbers represent different populations. The Proposition would include some individuals who were so opposed to SSM that they made a point of turning out to vote for the proposition. On the other hand, this survey selected people at random. Also, the proposition was called a "Defense of Marriage Act" which may have biased the voters in favor of the proposition and against SSM. Also, the wording of the proposition question and the survey question were different. All three factors would tend to bias results. We hope that Angus Reid will repeat the survey with the same questions in the future, so that trends will be detectable.

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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. Scott S. Greenberger, "One year later, nation divided on gay marriage. Split seen by region, age, Globe poll finds," Boston Globe, 2005-MAY-15, 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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