Six in 10 Americans oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry and a majority favors passing a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.
A recent FOX News national poll, conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation, finds that 26 percent of Americans favor but 62 percent oppose same-sex marriage, and almost as many would ban it through a constitutional amendment. Over half (58 percent) favor passing an amendment that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
In general, young people, Democrats, and those who have a friend or relative who is gay, are most likely to favor allowing same-sex marriage. And while women are somewhat more inclined than men to favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry a partner of the same sex, young people are more than three times as likely as older Americans to favor it. About twice as many Democrats and independents are in favor of same-sex marriage than are Republicans.
Public opinion today is only slightly more accepting of same-sex marriages than it was seven years ago. When the question was asked on a June 1996 FOX News poll, 22 percent of Americans were in favor and 65 percent opposed to allowing gays to marry.
The new poll also finds that a majority of the public (56 percent) opposes allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly as priests, ministers or rabbis, with a third in favor of gays serving in these roles. Conversely, a majority accepts having gays and lesbians serve openly in the military, with 64 percent in favor and 25 percent opposed. Again, young Americans, Democrats, independents, and those with a gay friend or family member are most supportive of gays on these issues.
Polling was conducted by telephone August 12-13, 2003 in the evenings. The total sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points.
1. Recently there has been a lot of talk about allowing gays and lesbians to marry a partner of the same sex. Do you favor or oppose same-sex marriage?
|12-13 Aug 03||(All)||26%||62||12|
|Have gay friend/family||39%||49||12|
|No gay friend/family||15%||74||11|
|26-27 Jun 96||22%||65||13|
2. Would you favor or oppose passing a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman?
|Have gay friend/family||47%||48||5|
|No gay friend/family||68%||24||9|
3. – 4. Do you favor or oppose: Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly as priests, ministers or rabbis?
|Have gay friend/family||46%||45||9|
|No gay friend/family||22%||66||12|
Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military?
|12-13 Aug 03||All||64%||25||11|
|Have gay friend/family||77%||17||6|
|No gay friend/family||53%||31||16|
|12-13 Jan 00||57%||30||13|
5. Do you think organizations should screen out gay and lesbian adults from serving in jobs that allow them to be alone with children, such as scout troop leader or teacher?
|Have gay friend/family||23%||68||9|
|No gay friend/family||42%||46||12|