December 2nd, 2009
03:25 PM ET
9 months ago

As N.Y. lawmakers nix legal gay marriage, poll indicates voters support it

(CNN) - As New York's state Senate defeated a bill that would legalize same sex marriages, a new poll indicates that just over half of state's voters favor the legislation.

Related: Same-sex marriage bill voted down in New York Senate

According to a Marist College survey released Wednesday, 51 percent of people questioned said they favor legalizing gay marriage, with 42 percent opposed.

The poll's release came just hours before the state Senate rejected the legislation, which had already passed the state Assembly. New York Gov. David Paterson said he would have immediately signed the bill if it had made it to his office.

Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa are currently the only states that legally allow same sex marriages. Earlier this year, Maine's state legislature voted to legalize gay marriages. But voters in Maine last month passed a referendum to overturn the new law. A vote Tuesday by the District of Columbia's city council moved Washington, D.C. one step closer to legalizing same sex marriages.

The Marist survey indicates a partisan divide on the issue, with two-thirds of Democrats supporting gay marriage and a nearly equal amount of Republicans opposed. According to the poll there's a geographic split as well, with 6 in 10 New York City voters supporting legalized same sex marriages, while voters in the suburbs and upstate are divided.

The Marist College poll was conducted Nov. 12, 16, and 17, with 805 New York State registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for the overall sample.

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Filed under: Same-sex marriage
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Please do not turn my hometown into a rainbow circus. Keep the law the way it is. If they want to get married, they can carry they butts up to New Hampshire, Maine or Canada.

    December 2, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Over half of all Americans, 52%, think politicians, Republican and Democrat, are basically clueless about what average Americans want. Looks like the NY legislature proved them right once again.

    December 2, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. mychal

    Democrats control the state Senate, so I guess this means that Democrats really don't support gay rights. How disappointing.

    December 2, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Vets4Obama

    You can complain all you want. But for most of you inbred morons that are living in the past and oppose equal rights for all, gay marriage WILL be legal. You can get out of this country now if you don't like it.

    Education: The foundation that will dismember the stone age beliefs that have held far too many americans in persecution, denying them 'equality' and the basic rights that all american citizens are MEANT to enjoy!

    December 2, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. John

    As a New Yorker, this is a sad day for liberty.
    I'll be sure that not one of my friends or family members votes to re-elect anyone who shot down this bill today.

    December 2, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. dave

    hey ::

    if you want to change marriage from "husband and wife" to "two consenting adults" then go ahead and make your best argument

    but do not pretend you are not making a radical change

    civil rights

    there is no law that prohibits gay men from marrying women and there is no law that allows straight men to marry men - all men are courrently treated the same.

    December 2, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. Val, NYC

    I'm surprised that it was voted down. The majority of New Yorkers support it. But I guess the senate can and do vote against the will of the people when it suits them.
    The NY senate has already made asses out of themselves before, this is nothing new.

    December 2, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. AnProf

    It would be interesting to see the breakdown of this poll, to see if they are over-sampling some populations.
    In fact, in every state that has voted, same sex "marriage" has been turned down, although "civil unions" are generally accepted.

    December 2, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. Bill

    I wonder how heterosexuals would enjoy having their civil liberties being voted on?

    Oh, I forgot. heterosexuals only do that to their GAY children.

    Morality indeed, heterosexuals.

    Morality indeed.

    December 2, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. jacob

    it's a crappy day to be a New Yorker!

    still fighting a senseless war for what happened on our soil, and i have no legal rights to my partner in the face of my state.

    THANKS FOR NOTHING NEW YORK!

    December 2, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. Rob Ott

    To the 38 NY senators who voted against this bill: One day, in the not-so-distant future, we will all look back at your actions with the same sense of shame that we all now feel when looking back at the legislators who denied the equal rights of people based on their race, gender, or disability for so many years. Your anti-civil-rights votes are shameful and unamerican, and history will judge them as such. In the meantime, we, the people who believe in equality, will do our best to vote you out.

    December 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Christopher in NYC

    Another sad sad day for equal rights in this country!

    December 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. MatthewDetroit

    Accept a civil union and stop trying to call it marriage.

    December 2, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. The president of the U.S. says "NO" to gay marriage.....

    Until that changes, there is no hope for gays.............the promises made by Obama to the gay community are not being kept......even "don't ask, don't tell" has been shelved.......Obama took our votes and then dumped us.

    December 2, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. New Era

    Marist College must be on dope. Probably a gay person organize the queries and polls

    December 2, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Jack in Florida

    Thank god the citizens are finally getting with it in 2009...............I wish the politicans would listen to their constituents and create "Liberty and Justice for ALL"!!!!! The time has come!!!

    December 2, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Kyle

    It seems as though we as a nation find it suitable to allow the majority to vote on the rights of the miniorities.

    It also seems a bit hypocritical that we demand the government to stay out of our business, and at the same time we refuse to allow others to live their lives the way they want to live.

    Absolutely pathetic. Shame on the N.Y. lawmakers.

    December 2, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Liz

    It is totally shameful that discrimination against this minority should be even tolerated, much less be the law of the land. No government has any right to deny a section of its citizens the opportunity to enter into a legal contract, which is all a civil marriage is. A federal marriage amendment should read, 'A civil marriage shall be between two persons over the age of consent who are no closer related than third cousin.' that would be fair to everyone and negate the idiotic arguments about gays being married leading to folks marrying their sister, their goat, or their toaster!

    December 2, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. Barbara Independent in NY

    We need to start voting out of office any politician that does not vote as their consitituents direct. We vote them in office to represent us, not themselves or their party. Enough is enough!

    December 2, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Jim in San Mateo

    It's not a matter of it, it's a matter of when. It took 19 years before mixed-race marriages were legal (from 1948 to 1967).

    One divide they didn't mention was the age groups. Younger people support same-sex marriage because whether gays and lesbians get married is inconsequential and as shown in Massachusetts, the sky doesn't fall when the state recognizes all family units.

    The older folks can either get on the bus or ride off into the sunset. As their outdated attitudes and thinking disappear, a more congenial society will take their place.

    December 2, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. John, Brooklyn, NY

    California and Maine are prime examples of why issues related to civil liberties should never be put to a vote. The reason? The majority will never support issues that protect only a minority's interests. Radical conservatives call providing gay rights providing "special priveleges"...when, in actuality, advocating that ALL Americans be treated EQUALLY under the law is a very AMERICAN value!

    December 2, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. kman821

    What a surprise ... lawmakers not doing the will of the majority! Imagine that!!

    December 2, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |